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Ex Libris 
{ C. K. OGDEN 


IN ITALY. By VERNON LEE. New Edition, with a New 
Preface, a Photogravure Frontispiece, and 40 other Illus- 
trations selected by Dr. Guido Biagi, of the Laurentian 
Library, Florence. Super Royal 8vo, Half-bound, 21s. net. 

STANLEY, sometime Bishop of Norwich. Edited by J. H. 
ADEANE and MAUD GRENFELL. With 5 Photogravures and 
5 Coloured Plates, and 27 other Illustrations. Medium 8vo, 
cloth, 14s. net. 

With 6 Coloured Plates, and 32 other full-page Illustrations. 
Demy 8vo, cloth, 10s. 6d. net. 

















First Edition, November, 1907 
Second Edition, December, 1907 
Third Edition, September, 1908 
Fourth Edition, January, igog 

(All rights reserved.) 






ILLYRIAN woodlands, echoing falls 
Of water, sheets of summer glass, 
The long divine Peneian pass, 
The vast Akrokeraunian walls, 

Tomohrit, Athos, all things fair, 
With such a pencil, such a pen, 
You shadow forth to distant men, 
I read and felt that I was there : 

And trust me while I turn'd the page, 
And track'd you still on classic ground, 
I grew in gladness till I found 
My spirits in the golden age. 

For me the torrent ever pour'd 
And glisten'd here and there alone 
The broad-limb'd gods at random thrown 
By fountain-urns ; and Naiads oar'd 

A glimmering shoulder under gloom 
Of cavern pillars ; on the swell 
The silver lily heaved and fell ; 
And many a slope was rich in bloom 

From him that on the mountain lea 
By dancing rivulets fed his flocks, 
To him who sat upon the rocks, 
And fluted to the morning sea. 







CORFU . . . . . , .6l 


ROME REVISITED . , . . . .121 




Letters of Edward Lear 




CORFU 206 


CORFU ...... 256 

ENGLAND ..... 281 


PICTURES PAINTED, 1840-1877 . , . 311 






From a Daguerreotype taken at Red House, Ardee, September, 7857. 

PENTEDATILO . . . . . Facing page i 

From Lear's "Journal of a Landscape Painter in Calabria" 
(R. Bentley, 1852). 

production) ...... 12 

From a painting by Edward Lear in the possession of Lady 

SULI (Coloured Reproduction) ... u 20 

From Lear's "Journal of a Landscape Painter in Albania" 
(R. Bentley, 1851). 

GlOIOSA ...... ,,28 

From Lear's "Journal of a Landscape Paintet in Calabria" 
(R. Bentley, 1852). 


From a coloured lithograph of a crayon drawing by J. K. Swinton. 

TEMPE (Coloured Reproduction) ... ,,40 

From Lear's " Journal o a Landscape Painter in Albania " 
(R. Bentley, 1851). 

SAN VlTTORINO . . . . $0 

E. Lear del. et Mh. 

MRS. RUXTON ... n 54 

From a photograph of a picture. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

EDWARD LEAR . . . . Facing page 72 

From a photograph taken about 1853 or 1854. 

TAGGIA . . , ... . 114 

" Ice far up on a mountain head." 

From "Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson, illustrated by Edward 
Lear" (Boussod, Valedon & Co., 1889). By kind permission of 
Lord Tennyson. 

NlNFA .... . . ,,122 

Woodcut from "Illustrated Excursions in Italy," by Edward 
Lear (Thomas McLean, 1846). 

LADY WALDEGRAVE ... . ,,132 

From a photograph taken in 1859. One among a number taken 
in contemplation of a statuette executed later by Noble. This one 
a special pose from one of tlte plays acted at Nuneham. 

CASTEL FUSANO . . . . . ,162 

From "Illustrated Excursions in Italy," by Edward Lear 
(Thomas McLean, 1846) 

THE CAT AND THE HEN .... ,,182 

A sketch by Lear. 


MAR SABBAS, SYRIA ..... 230 

" Girt round with blackness." The Palace of Art. 

From "Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson, illustrated by Edward 
Lear" (Boussod, Valedon & Co., 1889). By kind permission of 
Lord Tennyson. 

Gozo, MALTA (?)..... 243 

From an unnamed photograph of a picture by Edward Lear. 


From a photograph taken June, 1863. 


From a photograph taken June, 1863. 


From a pen and ink sketch in a Utter. 


List of Illustrations 





PALESTINE SKETCHES ..... 98-101, 107, 108 

ASSYGRAMS . . . . .141 

THE BOWL OF PEACE , , , .. . . .143 




LEAR'S NEW GALLERY ...... 229 


DEATH IN THE DESERT . . . . . . 254 

A CORFU DINNER-PARTY . , , , . 269 





To Lord Tennyson my special thanks are due for his kind 
permission in allowing to be included in this book photographs 
of two of the pictures from "Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson 
illustrated by Edward Lear." This work was brought out in 
i88g, after Lear's death, by Boussod, Valedon &* Co. The edition 
was limited to a hundred copies, and each copy was signed by 
the poet. For the sake of his old friend and to partly fulfil one 
of the most cherished objects of Lear's later life, which, alas ! he 
never was able himself to carry out, this book was published, 
containing twenty-two out of the many pictures drawn and 
specially put aside for this purpose by Lear. J am also 
fortunate in being able to include such a poem as " To E. Z,., 
on his Travels in Greece? written by the poet after Lear's 
earlier visit to that country. Most readers know the poem, but 
many do not know to whom it was addressed. To these will 
come the surprise and to all the pleasure, of finding these verses 
used as it were in a dedicatory sense, both to the words of the 
man they praise and to the account he gives of a journey over 
the same ground they commemorate. 

C. & 


"True humour is sensibility in the most catholic and 
deepest sense ; but it is the sport of sensibility ; wholesome 
and perfect therefore ; as it were, the playful, teasing fond- 
ness of a mother to her child." CARLYLE. 

IT is said that humour is allied to sadness, 
and that it is this quality which defines 
it from its kindred talent, wit. The writer 
of the following letters was a master of the 
former art, as well as a painter of beautiful 
and original pictures. 

The English and American public of the 
present day, only know Edward Lear through 
his " Books of Nonsense." To only a cultivated 
few and the survivors of a past generation 
who possess many of his works, are his 
pictures existent. But practically to none is 
known the depth of character and person- 
ality of the man who wrote these rhymes 
and painted these pictures. How few have 
realised the vein of sadness and other 


Letters of Edward Lear 

qualities, which went to make Lear's humour 
of the highest order and his pictures of 
special interest. Therefore it has seemed 
to me that these letters to one of his 
most intimate and life-long friends, would be 
acceptable to the many whose childhood was 
associated and made glad by his inimitable 
fun and frolic, and that these should be 
given some idea of his real life-work his 
paintings, to which he dedicated every energy 
of his being. Besides, the total want of 
knowledge by them of the man himself, has 
led I believe to a growing and rising 
interest in his doings and sayings, his aims 
and ambitions, as distinct from the mere 
writer of the immortal nonsense verses. 
Those who in their childhood loved him 
for the joyousness he gave them, now in 
their more mature days would be interested 
to know what kind of man was the writer 
of "The Yonghy-Bonghy-B6," "The Owl 
and the Pussy Cat," and the verses and 
rhymes he brought to such perfection. 
These letters to my uncle and aunt, Lord 
Carlingford and his wife Frances Countess 
Waldegrave, show the man in every possible 
vein of humour, both grave and gay, and 
also show forth a most lovable personality. 



I, who knew him from my earliest years, 
remember how he attracted me at all periods 
of my life. From the time when he drew for 
me an alphabet when I scarce can remember 
his so doing, when he sang with little voice 
but with intense feeling and individuality, songs 
by Tennyson his friend, which he had himself 
put to charming music ; to the time when he 
sent me an exquisite framed water-colour 
drawing a delicious harmony in blue of 
the " Vale of Tempe " as a wedding gift. 
And later still when we spent a few weeks 
near him in his San Remo villa home in 
1880, though much aged and broken by 
worries and health, still the same sad whim- 
sical personality and undefinable charm of the 
man attracted as ever, and one day to us was 
literally shown forth, in his singing of an 
air to which he had set the " Owl and the 
Pussy Cat." But of this rendering, alas ! 
there is no record, as not knowing music 
though a musician by ear, he had been 
unable to transcribe it to paper, and grudged 
the ^5 he said it would cost to employ 
another to do so. And again the last time 
I saw him, as we passed the San Remo rail- 
way station on our way north from Genoa 
to England. It was a Sunday, and he 


Letters of Edward Lear 

happened to be walking dreamily away from 
the station as our train slowed into it, but 
out of earshot of our calls. The sad, bent, 
loosely-clad figure with hands clasped behind 
him, we did not know was walking away 
from us then and for ever, for we never saw 
him again. 

The following letters date only from 1847, 
therefore a few pages of what is known of 
Lear's history and kindred before this period, 
will not come amiss in this introduction. 
There is a singular dearth of information 
on these points, considering the size of the 
family to , which Lear belonged. Of its 
representatives now I have only heard of one 
member in England, and that one was, I 
believe, a colonial born, and a sister's 

Edward Lear, the youngest of twenty-one 
children, belonged to a Danish family natural- 
ized a generation or so back in England, and 
was born at Highgate on May 12, 1812. 

His family had some connection, I believe, 
with Liverpool, and this fact seems to be 
borne out by Mr. Holman Hunt having, in 
consequence, presented a portrait drawing of 
Lear by himself to that city some few years 
ago. Lear's mother must have died very 



early in his life, for he always spoke and 
in his letters writes, of his eldest sister Ann 
as having brought him up and of being as a 
mother to him. She must have been a woman 
of a good deal of force of character ; for 
when domestic adversity and money difficulties 
came upon the family, it was through her 
small income and by her care, that Lear was 
educated and brought up. 

He, at the age of fifteen, began to earn a 
living by painting. As a dreamy child, as he 
must have been, he pored over books of natural 
history and dabbled with paints. Thus he was 
led to "drawing small coloured pictures of 
birds, and of colouring prints and screens and 
fans for general use." As time went on he 
advanced in his art, and his remuneration and 
improvement increased in due proportion. 
This again led to his being employed at 
nineteen, through the good offices of a Mrs. 
Wentworth, at the Zoological Gardens as a 
draughtsman. The following year, 1832, he 
published his " Family of the Psittacidae," 
a most interesting work, "one of the earliest 
collections of coloured ornithological drawings 
on a large scale made in England," "as far 
as I know," as he himself adds, with his 
usual devotion to accuracy and truth. 

xvii A * 

Letters of Edward Lear 

These carefully and exquisitely drawn 
pictures of parrots with their brilliant colour- 
ings, naturally arrested the attention of such 
men as Professors Bell and Swainston, Sir 
William Jardine, Mr. Gould and Mr. Gray 
of the British Museum, who recognised the 
merit of his work and his fidelity to detail. 
He further illustrated G. A. Gould's book 
on " Indian Pheasants " about this time, and 
did other work for the same author and 
others of those just mentioned. At this 
period came the great opportunity of his life, 
and to a small circumstance was he indebted 
for the lifelong friendship and help, of the 
first and greatest of the many important 
patrons for whom he worked during his life. 
At this time Lord Derby, who had brought 
together an interesting collection of rare 
animals and birds at Knowsley, was con- 
templating the illustrating and printing of a 
magnificent work, which he eventually privately 
printed in 1856, and which has now become 
the rare and valuable volume known as the 
" Knowsley Menagerie." He, one day, I 
believe, went to the Zoological Gardens, 
where he was so much struck by the work 
of a young man whom he observed drawing 

there, that he immediately made inquiries 



about him, and engaged him on the spot to 
execute the bird portion of the illustrations 
for his book. This was Lear. From this 
happy moment, for four years Lear con- 
tinued not only to do work for his patron, 
but, as he observes in a small memorandum 
to Fortescue, in a letter many years later 
than those published in the present volume, 
during those years and many after, he met 
and mixed with half the fine people of 
the day. 

Here I transcribe the fragment intact : 

C.s. writing of Lord Carlisle's journal reminds me 
of a curious discovery I have made lately in looking 
over old things of my dear sister Ann's. I remember 
telling C F. that for 12 or 13 years when at 
Knowsley, I kept a journal about everything and 
everybody, but one day in 1840, I burnt the whole. 
It has all turned up again, for I copied out all, or 
nearly all, in letters to my sister, and she preserved all 
those, and here they are ! 

During those years I saw half the fine people of 
the day, and my notes about some are queer enough. 
One for instance about Lord W. "The Earl of W. 1 
has been here for some days : he is Lord W.'s 2 d 
son, and married Lady Mary S. He is extremely 

* The second Earl of Wilton, second son of the first Marquess 
of Westminster 


Letters of Edward Lear 

picturesque if not handsome, and dresses in crimson 
and a black velvet waistcoat when he looks like a 

portrait of Vandyke. Miss says and so does Mrs. 

that he is a very bad man, tho he looks so nicely. 

But what I like about him, is that he always asks me 
to drink a glass of champagne with him at dinner. 
I wonder why he does. But I don't much care as I 
like the champagne." And some days later I wrote, 
" I have asked why on Earth she thinks the Earl of 
W. always asks me to drink champagne, and she 
began to laugh, and said, because he knows you are a 
clever artist and he sees you always look at him and 
admire him : and he is a very vain man and this 
pleases him, and so he asks you to take wine as a 

reward." Ha! Ha! Ha! 

Note in 1871. 
Still in our ashes 
etc. etc. 

In 1846 Lear gave drawing lessons to the 
late Queen Victoria. Two stories he himself 
told of that time will be of interest. Lear 
had a habit of standing on the hearthrug. 
When at Windsor he was in the room with 
the Queen, and as was his wont, he had 
somehow managed to migrate to his favourite 
place. He observed that whenever he took up 
this position, the Lord-in- Waiting or Private 
Secretary who was in attendance kept luring 
him away, either under pretext of looking at a 



picture or some object of interest. After each 
interlude he made again for the hearthrug, 
and the same thing was repeated. It was 
only afterwards that he discovered that to 
stand where he had done was not etiquette. 

On another occasion the Queen, with great 
kindness, was showing him some of the price- 
less treasures in cabinets either at Windsor 
Castle or Buckingham Palace I do not know 
which, and explaining their history to him. 
Mr. Lear, entirely carried away by the wonder- 
ful beauty and interest of what he saw, became 
totally oblivious of all other facts, and in the 
excitement and forgetfulness of the moment 
exclaimed, " Oh ! how did you get all these 
beautiful things?" Her Majesty's answer, 
as Mr. Lear said, was an excellent one, so 
kind, yet so terse and full of the dignity 
of a Queen : " I inherited them, Mr. Lear." 

In a delightful article by Mr. Wilfrid 
Ward several years ago in the New Review 
called "Talks with Tennyson," I have ven- 
tured to recall a story given apropos of 
Edward Lear : 

" On one occasion Tennyson's friend, Edward 
Lear, was staying in a Sicillian town, painting. He 
left the town for some weeks and locked up his 


Letters of Edward Lear 

pictures and other things in a room, leaving the key 
with the hotel keeper. A revolution had just broken 
out when he returned, and he found the waiters full of 
Chianti and of patriotic fervour. He ventured to ask 
one of them for the chiave of his camera that he 
might find his roba. The waiter refused entirely 
to be led down from his dreams of a golden age and 
of the reign of freedom to such details of daily life. 
"O che chiave /" he exclaimed. " O che roba! O che 
camera I Non ce piu chiave I Non ce piu roba ! 
Non ce piu camera / Non c'e piu niente. Tutto Z 
amore e liberta. O che bella rivoluzione ! " J Constant 
little local revolutions took place at this time in Italy, 
and the inhabitants drank an extremely large quantity 
of Chianti and talked enthusiastically of liberta and la 
fiatria for a couple of days ; and then things settled 
down into their former groove." 

The acquaintanceship of Lear and Fortescue 
began in 1845, when Lear was thirty-three and 
Fortescue twenty-two. After leaving Oxford, 
the latter took an extended tour in Europe 
and Greece, before starting on a parliamentary 
career. Fortescue, with his friend Simeon, left 
England on February i, 1845, for Italy, where 
they remained over six months. In the middle 

1 " Oh ! what key ? Oh ! what property ? Oh ! what room ? 
There is no more a key ! There is no more property ! There 
is no more a room ! There is no more anything 1 All is love 
and liberty. Oh what a beautiful revolution 1 " 



of March they reached Rome, where they 
stayed for over eleven weeks. In Fortescue's 
diary, very fully kept during this journey, we 
find the entries of his first meeting Lear, and 
of how rapidly the friendship which lasted 
till Lear's death, ripened between the two. 
A few extracts from my uncle's diary may 
be interesting to those reading the following 
letters : 

Thurs., April 15, 1845. Went with Conybeare 
to Lear's, where we stayed some time looking over 
drawings. I like what I have seen of him very 

Sat. 26tk. Saw Lear. 

Sun. 27th. After church took a walk with Lear 
until nearly dinner-time. 

Tkurs., May ist. Simeon went with Scotts and 
General Ramsay to Tivoli. ... I declined. Walked 
with Lear to the Ponte Salaro sketching. ... I like 
very much what I have seen of Lear ; he is a good, 
clever, agreeable man very friendly and getonable 
with. . . . Spent the evening in Lear's rooms looking 
over drawings, &c. 

Friday, May 2nd. Simeon and I started for Veii 
in a fiacre and overtook Lear. We drove on to near 
Isola Farnese, and then got out and sketched. . . . 
Then walked down the valley to the S. of Isola to the 
Arco di Pino. . . . The day which had been lovely 
had gradually clouded over, and we had not left the 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Arco di Pino many minutes, before we were caught 
in a thunderstorm which lasted an hour or more. 
Lear and I ran to the Osteria at I sola. Simeon 
stayed behind under a rock. After eating our dinner 
and waiting some time we grew uneasy about 
Simeon, and set out in the rain to look for him. We 
found the little " Fosso" which we had stepped across 
an hour before so swollen, that we did not like to 
cross it, and Simeon, who had been delayed by the 
same cause, had to wade. . . . 

Sun. Went to Lear's in the evening. . . . 

Thursday. Started at 5 o'clock with Lear, Simeon, 
and a Mr. Chester to Tivoli per carriage. After 
breakfast started thence for Palestrina on foot, 
Simeon riding. 

Explaining the places and views they passed, 
including " a villa built by some ' lotus eating ' 
Cardinal who loved retirement, and dying 
under a hill on whose top stood a temple of 
the B5na Dea," they halted for Lear to see 
some fine aqueducts, which he admired. 

Lear wanted to sketch them, and very grand they 
are most striking in themselves and in the solitude 
of the glens which they cross. . . . 

Still drawing and walking, they came to 
and were " entertained at his house, by a 



friend of Lear's at Gallicano," and returned 
to Rome after a two days' expedition, too late 
to see the " Vatican by torchlight with ' Two- 
penny's' party." 
Fortescue adds : 

These were two very enjoyable days. Lear a 
delightful companion, full of nonsense, puns, riddles, 
everything in the shape of fun, and brimming with 
intense appreciation of nature as well as history. I 
don't know when I have met any one to whom I took 
so great a liking. 

Sat. Lear, Simeon, and myself drove to Veii. 
Sketched walked . . . then Lear and I walked 
home some twelve miles. This was a delightful 

Sunday. Called with Lear to ask Bentinck to join 
our party to Soracte to-morrow. Lear found he could 
not go to-morrow, so that project was knocked on the 
head. I was disappointed and strolled alone ... in 
rather a disgusted and gloomy state of mind. . . . 
Went to Lear's in the evening. 

Tkurs. Lear dined with us and gave us a drawing 

Friday. Felt done, relaxed in abeyance, as Lear 
says. . . . Dined with Lear. ... I shall be very 
sorry to part with Lear. 

Sunday. Lear breakfasted with us. ... Lear 
came to say goodbye just before our dinner he 
has gone by diligence to Civita Vecchia. I have 


Letters of Edward Lear 

enjoyed his society immensely, and am very sorry 
he is gone. We seemed to suit each other capitally, 
and became friends in no time. Among other 
qualifications, he is one of those men of real feeling 
it is so delightful to meet in this cold-hearted world. 
Simeon and myself both miss him much." 

In 1844-45 he seems to have been much 
in England, and that probably is the reason 
why, no letters appear to exist during those 
years from him to Fortescue. With a friend- 
ship such as theirs had become they probably 
saw one another often, but still if Fortescue 
went to Greece in 1846-47, there must have 
been some communication between them, 
which has, unfortunately, doubtless been lost. 

By the courtesy of Messrs. Warne & Co. 
permission has been given, for the inclusion 
in this introduction of a most interesting and 
condensed letter by Lear, of facts of his own 
life up to 1862, printed "by way of preface" 
to one of their admirable series of his 
" Nonsense Books." Through the numerous 
editions which have been published by them, 
many of the present generation have had the 
felicity of enjoying as their parents did before 
them these books, by the man of whom Ruskin 
said in his list of the best hundred authors, " I 



really don't know of any author to whom I am 
half so grateful for my idle self as Edward 
Lear. I shall put him first of my hundred 

To all those who are not acquainted with 
this series, and to the mothers of the young 
children of to-day, I recommend these books 
for the cultivation in their children of blameless 
humour. Thus ever, a larger number of people 
may come to know the lovable man and fine 
artist, whose character is revealed in these 

MY DEAR F. I want to send you, before leaving 
England, a note or two as to the various publications 
I have uttered, bad and good, and of all sorts, also 
their dates, that so you might be able to screw them 
into a beautiful memoir of me in case I leave my 
bones at Palmyra or elsewhere. Leastwise, if a man 
does anything all through life with a deal of bother, 
and likewise of some benefit to others, the details of 
such bother and benefit may as well be known 
accurately as the contrary. 

Born in 1812 (i2th May), I began to draw, for 
bread and cheese, about 1827, but only did uncommon 
queer shop-sketches selling them for prices varying 
from ninepence to four shillings : colouring prints, 
screens, fans ; awhile making morbid disease drawings, 
for hospitals and certain doctors of physic. In 


Letters of Edward Lear 

1831, through Mrs. Wentworth, I became employed 
at the Zoological Society, and, in 1832, published 
"The Family of the Psittacidse," the first complete 
volume of coloured drawings of birds on so large a 
scale published in England, as far as I know unless 
Audubon's were previously engraved. J. Gould's 
"Indian Pheasants" were commenced at the same 
time, and after a little while he employed me to draw 
many of his birds of Europe, while I assisted Mrs. 
Gould in all her drawings of foregrounds, as may be 
seen in a moment by any one who will glance at my 
drawings in G.'s European birds and the Toucans. 
From 1832 to 1836, when my health failed a good 
deal, I drew much at the Earl of Derby's ; and a 
series of my drawings was published by Dr. Gray 
of the British Museum a book now rare. I also 
lithographed many various detached subjects, and 
a large series of Testudinata for Mr. (now Professor) 
Bell ; and I made drawings for Bell's " British 
Mammalia," and for two or more volumes of the 
"Naturalist's Library" for the editor, Sir W. Jardine, 
those volumes being the Parrots, and, I think, the 
Monkeys, and some Cats. In 1835 or '36, being in 
Ireland and the Lakes, I leaned more and more to 
landscape, and when in 1837 it was found that my 
health was more affected by the climate month by 
month, I went abroad, wintering in Rome till 1841, 
when I came to England and published a volume of 
lithographs called " Rome and its Environs." Re- 
turning to Rome, I visited Sicily and much of the 



South of Italy, and continued to make chalk drawings, 
though in 1840 I had painted my two first oil-paintings. 
I also gave lessons in drawing at Rome and was able 
to make a very comfortable living. In 1845 I came 
again to England, and in 1846 gave Queen Victoria 
some lessons, through Her Majesty's having seen a 
work I published in that year on the Abruzzi, and 
another on the Roman States. In 1847 I went 
through all Southern Calabria, and again went round 
Sicily, and in 1848 left Rome entirely. I travelled 
then to Malta, Greece, Constantinople, and the 
Ionian Islands ; and to Mount Sinai and Greece 
a second time in 1849, returning to England in that 
year. All 1850 I gave up to improving myself in 
figure drawing, and I continued to paint oil-paintings 
till 1853, having published in the meantime, in 1849 
and 1852, two volumes entitled "Journals of a Land- 
scape Painter," in Albania and Calabria. The first 
edition of the "Book of Nonsense" was published 
in 1846, lithographed by tracing-paper. In 1854 
I went to Egypt and Switzerland, and in 1855 to 
Corfu, where I remained the winters of 1856-57-58, 
visiting Athos, and, later, Jerusalem and Syria. In 
the autumn of 1858 I returned to England, and '59 
and '60 winters were passed in Rome. 1861, I 
remained all the winter in England, and painted the 
Cedars of Lebanon and Masada, going, after my 
sister's death in March, 1861, to Italy. The two 
following winters '62 and '63 were passed at Corfu, 
and in the end of the latter year I published "Views in 


Letters of Edward Lear 

the Ionian Islands." In 1862 a second edition of the 
" Book of Nonsense," much enlarged, was published, 
and is now in its sixteenth thousand. 
O bother ! 

Yours affectionately 


The following letters from 1847 to J 864 tell 
their own story during those years, and 
therefore nothing further with regard to them 
is required in this introduction. But Lear's 
life continued and his letters to my uncle 
also, till his death at San Remo in 1888, at 
the age of seventy-six. Consequently a slight 
sketch is required here to make his life 
intelligible from the time the letters in 1864 
cease, though it is hoped that at some fifture 
date should this series be found of interest 
to the public, a further instalment up to his 
death of equal value may be forthcoming. 

From 1864 to 1870 Lear spent his winters 
in Nice, Malta, Egypt, and latterly at Cannes. 
His summers were busy in having exhibitions 
at 15, Stratford Place, and from thence visiting 
old friends in different parts of England. His 
output of a year's work ending April, 1865, 
was enormous, and is a sample of his stupen- 
dous industry and his marvellous capabilities of 
work, in the face of bad health and difficulties. 



During the time mentioned he visited Crete, 
the Corniche and the Riviera Coast. To 
quote from a letter of his to Fortescue of the 
1 8th of the above month, he writes: "You 
ought some day to see the whole of my outdoor 
work of twelve months 200 sketches in Crete, 
145 in the Corniche, and 125 at Nice, Antibes, 
and Cannes." But at last in April, 1870, 
finding the lease of his Cannes rooms expiring 
and unable to be renewed and many things 
unsatisfactory and uncertain, he evolved the 
idea of buying a piece of land and building 
for himself a villa and studio. Land being 
very expensive at Cannes and a suitable plot 
besides not being available, he decided on 
settling down and establishing himself at San 
Remo instead. 

He therefore finally removed from Cannes 
in the following June, and July finds him in 
lodgings at San Remo for a few months, till 
his new villa which he was building " shall be 
ready for my occupation." The studio was in 
such an advanced state if not quite finished, 
that he was able to use it and paint in it. 

At this time, too, he had been unfortunate 
in selling his pictures, and he complains that 
he "only got 30 from the rich Cannes public 
this last winter." His pessimism, which grew 


Letters of Edward Lear 

upon him more and more as time passed on, 
is more noticeable at this period when he 
writes, " that after he settles down in San 
Remo, his visits to England and his friends 
will be less and less," and wonders if he " will 
get any sales for his pictures." 

Besides, another very serious cause, which 
the following extract from a letter of July 31, 
1870, will explain, suddenly came upon him at 
this time as a shock and added to this state 
of mind : 

I must tell you that I have been, at one time, 
extremely ill this summer. It is as well that you 
should know that I am told I have the same com- 
plaint of the heart as my father died of quite suddenly. 
I have had advice about it, and they say I may live 
any time if I dorit run suddenly or go quickly upstairs; 
but that if I do I am pretty sure to drop morto. I ran 
up a little rocky bit near the Tenda, and thought I 
shouldn't run any more, and the palpitations were so 
bad that I had to tell Georgio all about it, as I did 
not think I should have lived that day through. 

But when he gets into the "Villa Emily" 
(so named, as he says in a letter, after his New 
Zealand sister's granddaughter), his spirits 
seem to rise again. But through all, his 
letters retain their humour sometimes gay, 
sometimes sad and their whimsicality and 



attractiveness never fail. Besides, there is added, 
a certain charm of the older experienced man 
with a riper knowledge of persons and things. 

At his new house he remained more or less 
permanently, till he went to India in 1874, by 
invitation of Lord Northbrook then Governor- 
General, there making many sketches for future 
use ; and from his return early in 1875 to 
1 88 1 with occasional holidays, the Villa Emily 
was his home. For some years it had been a 
very happy home, where he painted his beautiful 
pictures and entertained passing friends. 

Although most anxious to sell his pictures, 
he may sometimes, by his strange ways, have 
turned from his door intending purchasers. 
He was by way of showing his studio on one 
afternoon in the week. On this day he some- 
times sent his servant out and opened the 
door himself. This procedure was resorted 
to in order that he might keep out Germans, 
whose presence, for some unknown reason 
filled him with dread. If he did not like 
the appearance of a visitor, with a long face 
and woe in his voice he would explain that 
he never showed his pictures now, being much 
too ill. He would then shut the door, and 
his cheerfulness would return. 

But gradually a grievance grew up, which 

xxxiii A ** 

Letters of Edward Lear 

by degrees assumed proportions which so 
preyed upon his mind that he decided to 
abandon his beloved Villa Emily, and build 
another perfectly similar house on a site, 
where, he sadly and fancifully observed to his 
friends, he was safe, " unless the fishes build." 
This " nightmare " was the building of a huge 
hotel close to his villa, the reflection from the 
roof of which he declared, ruined the light of 
his studio, maddening him and rendering his 
life hideous. 

It was a great trial to him this abandoning 
of his cherished home, the garden of which 
time had made a paradise. His new abode 
the Villa Tennyson as he called it, after one 
of his best friends though similar in every 
respect, had none of the mellowed charm 
which age had given the older house; and the 
garden, though he transplanted many shrubs 
and moved various arbours and pergolas from 
the Villa Emily, was balder and newer and had 
not the capabilities of the older one. 

His faithful Suliot servant Georgio who 
had remained with him ever since his Corfu 
days, now having a young son to help him 
and train in his duties, was the mainstay 
of Lear's life. The artist took a short 
holiday to Bologna and the North of Italy 



while the change of houses was being accom- 
plished, the faithful servant cheerfully coped 
with all the difficulties of the more practical 
side which moving to a new house entailed. 
And from this time till Lear's death on Jan. 
29, 1888, his home was the Villa Tennyson, 
with occasional holidays during the early 
summer months to the North of Italy and 
later yearly to Monte Generoso, but after the 
year 1880 he never again came to England. 
He lies buried at San Remo, beside the 
eldest son of his faithful Suliot servant 
Georgio Kokali, and the stone raised above 
his grave records the following touching 

memorial : 

In memory of 

in many lands 

Born at Highgate May 12. 1812 
Died at San Remo Jan 29. 1888 
Dear for his many gifts to many souls. 

"all things fair" 
" With such a pencil such a pen '' 
" You shadow'd forth to distant men " 
"I read & felt that I was there." 


Oct. 4, 1907. 



r I "HE following note by my brother-in-law, 
-* Mr. Henry Strachey, is an artist's 
endeavour to estimate Lear's position as a 
painter. C. S. 

The landscape painting of Edward Lear has 
never been popular either with artists or the 
larger public. The reason of this being so 
with the latter probably depended both on 
fashion and the fact that Lear chose to paint 
foreign countries rather than England. That 
fellow-painters should have been slow to 
appreciate Lear's work depended on other 
reasons. What these were it may be of 
interest to try to discover. I remember when 
I was a student at the Slade School, under 
Legros, I paid a visit to Lear at San Remo, 
and in talking of art he quoted to me, with 
complete approval, these words of some friend 
of his, " Copy the works of the Almighty 
first and those of Turner next." Now the 


Appreciation as a Painter 

great and fundamental quality that lies at 
the root of the art of Turner is appreciation 
of atmospheric effect. His preoccupation was 
not so much what the objects painted were 
like in themselves, but how they looked when 
modified by the ever-changing atmosphere. 
It was the light that fell upon the mountain 
rather than the shapes of its rocks and slopes 
that Turner represented. He painted the 
scene for the sake of the light that fell on 
it, and not the light as an incident in the 
landscape. The lines on which landscape 
painters progressed during the latter half of 
the last century were on those of light and 
atmosphere both here and in the great schools 
of France. But Lear never seems to have had 
complete sympathy with any aspect of nature 
except one which showed him the greatest 
number of topographical details. If he painted 
the Roman Campagna every sinew in the 
plain was lovingly recorded, as was every 
arch of the aqueducts, and even the lumps 
of the fallen masonry in the foreground. 
One is sometimes tempted to think that when 
Lear painted an olive-tree near at hand against 
the sky he counted the leaves. A traveller 
could almost plan his route over a pass from 

one of this artist's faithful realisations of 


Letters of Edward Lear 

mountains. To help him portray nature 
minutely the " topographical artist " and I 
remember hearing Lear call himself by this 
title wishes for quiet, equal light and weather. 
For his purpose the shadows of storm clouds 
are things which blurr and obscure, though 
for the emotional painter they may turn a 
commonplace scene into a picture. Lear's 
interest in landscape was dual : he was both 
a painter and a traveller. This appears in 
the letters forming this volume ; indeed, it 
often seems as if the historic and geographical 
interest predominated. In saying this it must 
be remembered that it is much easier to 
express in words these constituents of a 
scene than it is a purely aesthetic impression. 
If it must be admitted that a large part of 
Lear's outlook on nature was not purely 
pictorial, to him must be conceded a very 
real and true sense of beauty. It is because 
he could feel the beauty of nature and record 
it with individuality that his work is valuable, 
and not because it represents exactly some 
given piece of country. The labyrinthine 
valleys of the blue mountains above Ther- 
mopylae, as seen in the picture reproduced 
in this book, weave patterns of beauty which 
are independent of historic association. In- 


Appreciation as a Painter 

stances might be multiplied where the artist 
has got the upper hand of the topographer, 
and the result has been a picture. Lear 
painted both in water colour and in oil. It 
was, however, in the former medium that he 
was most successful. The delicate drawing 
and the tendency to use fine lines made the 
more fluid water colour answer to his hand 
better than the oil paint. Indeed, he seems 
never quite happy when working with the 
latter, and he is always trying to make it 
behave like the more limpid medium. 

Only on the rarest occasions did Lear use 
the sky except as background. I cannot recall 
a picture of his in which the motive was essen- 
tially a cloud effect. This was partly due, no 
doubt, to the southern climates in which he 
painted, with their predominance of blue sky. 
Also I think the painter's love of the realisa- 
tion of minute detail made him feel that 
things which stayed still to be drawn were 
those which best suited his style. 

The love of detailed representation naturally 
made Lear range himself with the Preraphaelite 
painters. He, indeed, considered himself one 
of the brotherhood in the second generation. 
This is the meaning of his allusion in the 
letters to Mr. Holman Hunt as his father. I 


Letters of Edward Lear 

remember his telling me that he looked upon 
Millais as his artistic uncle. 

As a colourist Lear was simple rather than 
subtle. Straightforward harmonies of blue 
suited him best. Many exquisitely beautiful 
water-colour drawings of the blue Apennines 
overlooking the aqueduct-lined Campagna 
came from his hand. No one has given 
better than he has the strange charm of this 
melancholy landscape. His success in this 
direction is, I think, due to that delicate sense 
of style which he possessed and which is 
needed to interpret such a classic scene. If 
Lear's pictures cannot rank beside those of the 
great masters of landscape, the best of his 
works will always have a real value for those 
who see beyond the fashion of the moment. 
This will be so because the artist's work was 
always dignified and sincere, and he had a true 
if somewhat formal sense of beauty. More- 
over, his style was perfectly individual and 




AMONG the various small details and 
elucidations which have reached me 
since the first edition of this book was pub- 
lished, many have been too late to be incor- 
porated in the text of the second impression. 
I propose, therefore, to condense these into 
a short postscript to my preface. 

Through correspondents both known and 
unknown many small matters have been 
cleared up, and I am therefore able thus to 
make use of their kind help in these pages. 
Beginning with page xxxii, Lord Tennyson 
tells me it was always said in the family " that 
the Villa Emily was called after his mother, 
Lady Tennyson." This is very probably the 
case, and possibly in some way indirectly the 
grand-daughter, if a godchild of Lear's, may 
have been given the name of one of those he 
loved best. 

At page 6 the Mrs. Sartoris mentioned 


Letters of Edward Lear 

in Roman society when Lear was painting 
there in 1848, was not Miss Barrington but 
her sister-in-law Mrs. Edward Sartoris, the 
well-known Adelaide Kemble. 

Again at page 66, her husband Edward 
Sartoris, is supposed by a correspondent, to 
be identified in the drawing companion 
" Edward," whom Lear misses so terribly at 
Corfu in 1857. 

At page 222, mention is made of "one 
Luard," who attracts Lear both as a person 
and by the " thirty lettered " definition of his 
tastes. Now Major-General C. E. Luard, R.E. 

Since interrogatively and humbly naming 
the plate at page 243 for want of better, as 
Gozo, Malta, owing to a similarity of "shere 
rocks" between it and a photogravure given 
in "The Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson," 
illustrated by Lear, I have been informed by 
an old friend and pupil of Mr. Lear who 
possesses a sketch of the subject though also 
unnamed, that to the best of his remembrance 
he is certain that the scene represents " Kom 
Ombos, Egypt," painted to illustrate Tenny- 
son's line "the crag that fronts the even, all 
along the shadowy shore." A correspondent a 
charming old lady of 81, refers in an inter- 
esting letter to the expression "Abercrom- 



bically" on page 129. In her young days, 
she says, Dr. John Abercrombie a great Scotch 
physician, was the well-known author of " The 
Intellectual Powers," "The Moral Feelings," 
and " The Culture and Discipline of the 
Mind." These works had a great vogue at 
that time, and young ladies were given them 
to read. She quotes, " How to live and act 
' Abercrombically ' is best shown on pp. 143 
and 144 of the latter work. Dr. Abercrombie 
chose a high standard, and bade his disciples 
adhere to it uncompromisingly." Hence when 
Lear says Woodward preaches " Abercrom- 
bically," and Fortescue writes and acts so, 
they are carrying out the gospel laid down 
in these books. Consequently on these occa- 
sions their actions are full of correctness and 
decorum of a high order. 

With reference to the Greek and its transla- 
tion on which I had a great deal of correspon- 
dence, confusion has been caused by so much 
of Lear's Greek having been modern Greek. 
I have had kindly help from many Greek 
scholars, who have sent me corrections which, 
in a later edition if such ever sees the light, 
will quite perfect what now stands as faulty. 

Of the more conspicuous mistakes in trans- 
lation, the following corrections may be 


Letters of Edward Lear 

incorporated in this preface. Page 60, " O 
mighty Krites, Richard son of Cyrus, wishes 
me to send you greeting," should read, " The 
mighty judge, Sir Richard Bethell, wishes me 
to send you his greetings." Again at page 74, 
note 3 should stand as " The Morier, fat and 
beautiful," and at page 116, note 4 should 
read thus, " The day after to-morrow I will 
come to you before eleven o'clock to greet 
you and see with admiration your pictures 
of Palestine. Fearful must be the ups-and- 
downs of the Ionian Sea, such brayings I 
never heard of." 

At page 253, note i should read, " Let 
us talk to-morrow at breakfast." 

On page 148, Lear writes 1*1 KoXo'vo" instead 
of the correct lm KoAa>v<, perhaps as a pun 
on " Colonies." 

Lord Sanderson, who was a friend both of 
the late Lord Derby and Lear, gives me the 
following interesting version of Lear's intro- 
duction to his great patron. The information, 
which was given to Lord Sanderson by the 
late Mr. Latter who had been librarian at 
Knowsley since 1871, and previously employed 
there he believes from his boyhood was as 
follows : " Lord Derby said to one of his 
friends who had been staying at Knowsley 



and was going up to London, that he wished 
to find some young artist who would come 
down to Knowsley and make paintings of the 
birds. The friend (I am not sure if I was 
told the name, but if I was I have forgotten 
it) promised to make inquiries, and some time 
afterwards he saw in a print-shop a small 
water-colour drawing of two birds and a 
nest, priced at a low sum, which struck him 
as having considerable merit. He bought 
the drawing and asked who the artist was. 
The shopman said it was a young man of the 
name of Lear, who was extremely poor and 
made these sketches for his living. The friend 
sought out Lear, made some further inquiries, 
and wrote to Lord Derby that he thought he 
had found a young man who would suit. The 
result was an invitation to Knowsley and the 
commencement of Lear's work there which, 
however, was intermittent. 

Mr. Latter also told me that on the " first 
occasion of giving a lesson to The Queen, Lear, 
who was rather roughly dressed and was 
always awkward in appearance, went to the 
door at Osborne and simply said he wished 
to see The Queen. The servants were a good 
deal perplexed, but showed him into a room 
where an equerry came to see him. On 


Letters of Edward Lear 

his repeating that he had come to see The 
Queen, the equerry blandly inquired what 
was the business on which he came, being 
convinced that he was a lunatic. To which 
he replied, 'Oh, I'm Lear,' and some further 
inquiries revealed the fact that he had an 
appointment to give a lesson." 

Mrs. Henry Grenfell also gives me some 
valuable information as to Lear's introduction 
at Knowsley. She writes, " I have often heard 
my husband tell how Lear first got introduced 
to 'Society' at Knowsley. He (Henry R. 
Grenfell) lived much at his uncle's, Lord Sefton, 
at Croxteth close by, and was told the story by 
the young Stanleys. Old Lord Derby liked to 
have his grandsons' company after dinner, and 
one day complained that they constantly left 
him as soon as dinner was over. Their reply 
was, ' It is so much more amusing downstairs ! ' 
' Why ? ' ' Oh, because that young fellow in 
the steward's room who is drawing the birds 
for you is such good company, and we like to 
go and hear him talk/ 

" Like a wise man, instead of scolding them, 
and after full inquiry, he invited Lear to dine 
upstairs instead of in the steward's room, and 
not only Lord Derby, but all his friends were 

equally delighted with him, and it ended in his 



being a welcomed guest there and well known 
to the many visitors at Knowsley who became 
his friends." 

K short time ago I came across a little plan 
of visits to be made by Lear before starting 


Letters of Edward Lear 

and reaching Rome, by Christmas Day. It is 
exact and minute, as he always was in all he 
did, and also proves his " genius " for friend- 
ship typified on page 16 in the following 
sentence: "I trust to get through 14 or 15 
visits out of my 68." It has seemed to me 
that a reproduction of this " Progress of Lear," 
in his own handwriting, would be of interest. 

I rather think from investigation that the 
date must refer to the latter end of 1859, and 
that dilatory-wise Lear getting belated, only 
arrived as will be seen at page 157, as far as 
Marseilles by the 26th of December, on his 
journey Rome-ward. 

I would take this opportunity of thanking 
the public and the reviewers, for the kind way 
the first edition of this book has been received. 
My reward is in knowing that the memory of 
one who was such a delightful and lovable 
combination of complexities, has had appre- 
ciation not only as the author of the Books 
of Nonsense, but as a man. 

" Exceeding wise, fair-spoken, and persuading : 
Lofty and sour to them who loved him not ; 
But to those men that sought him sweet as 


From Lear's "Journal of a Landscape Painter in Calabria" ( K. Kentley, 1852). 

Letters of Edward Lear 


1847, to August, 1853 


THE earliest letter in this collection which 
I have found is dated October 16, 
1847, written to my uncle, Chichester 
Fortescue, by Edward Lear immediately on 
his return to Rome (his headquarters at that 
time) from his tour in Calabria. The diary 
he kept on that journey was published in 
1852, illustrated by many striking litho- 
graphs made from sketches taken during 
the tour, two of which are here reproduced. 
The whole of Italy at this time was in a 
state of political upheaval and unrest ; the 
people felt that the time for more liberal 
forms of government had come. 

Chichester Fortescue, then in his twenty- 

Letters of Edward Lear 

fourth year, had, after a brilliant Oxford 
career, following the usual course of young 
men of the aristocratic class of that period, 
just completed the grand tour, including 
Greece, with his friend Sir Francis Scott, 
of Great Barr. He returned to find a seat 
in Parliament in his native county of Louth 
awaiting him, and at once was launched 
into political as well as social life in London* 
The sudden necessity of returning to England 
prevented his joining Lear in Rome as he 
had intended to do, and was the cause of 
the appearance of Sir Francis Scott alone, 
at which Lear took umbrage afterwards 
regretting his conduct. 

Lear to Fortescue. 


16 Oct., 1847. 

DEAR FORTESCUE, Do not expect an unhampered 
& simple epistle as of yore, but allow something 
for the effect of your M.P'ism on my pen and 
thoughts : Or rather I will forget for a space that you 
are a British senator, & write to that Chichester 
Fortescue whose shirt I cribbed at Palestrina. 

Your letter, (one of 27, awaiting my coming, 
which coming took place extremely late last night,) 


Rome, Greece, and England 

diverts me highly : Proby l my constant com- 
panion (& few there be better,) agrees with me 
about your view of the road to Aviano which we 
have only just, oddly enough gone over. Avellino 
is certainly exquisite, & so is Mte. Vergine when 
not in a fog, But of Apulia we saw little, only 
from hills apart, because why? the atmosphere was 
pisonous in Septbr. Nevertheless Proby went to 
Cannae, and I believe found one of Annibals shoes 
or spurs, also a pinchbeck snuffbox with a Bramah 
lock belonging to a Roman genl. I rather chose 
to go see Castel del Monte, a strange record of 
old F. Barbarossa & which well repaid no end of 
disgust in getting at it. We saw the tree Horace 
slept under at Mte. Volture, & were altogether 
much edified by the classicalities of Basilicata. 

I will begin from the beginning. First then I 
went (May 3) to Palermo, & on the nth set 
out with Proby for Segestse. Excepting a run 
round by Trapani & Massala, & a diversion to 
Modica, Noto, and Spaccaforno, one Sicilian giro 
was like that of all the multitude. The Massala trip 
does not pay & the only break to the utter 
monotony of life & scenery occurred by a little dog 
biting the calf of my leg very unpleasantly as I 
walked unsuspectingly in a vineyard. At the caves 
of Ipeica we became acquaint with a family of 

1 John, Lord Proby, eldest son of the Earl of Carysfort, of 
whom Lear speaks as such u an excellent companion," was a 
friend of long standing. He died in 1858. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

original Froglodytes : they are very good creatures, 
mostly sitting on their hams, & feeding on lettuces & 
honey. I proposed bringing away an infant Frog, 
but Proby objected. Siracuse only wanted your 
presence to make our stay more pleasant : I waited 
for and expected you every day. We abode in a 
quarry per lo piu, & left the place sorryly. From 
Catania we saw Etna & went up it : a task, but 
now it is done I am glad I did it : such extremes of 
heat and cold at once I never thought it possible 
to feel. Taormina the Magnificent we staid at 4 or 5 
days, & then from Messina returned by that abomin- 
able North Coast to Palermo, just in time for the 
fete of Sta Rosalia a noisy scene which made me 
crosser than ever, and drove away the small remains 
of peaceful good temper the ugliness of the North 
Coast had left me. 

So, 1 9th July we returned to Naples & there, 
as at Palermo was Scott & to my disgust no 
Fortescue. I fear when Scott sent up your card, & 
then entered too soon himself- I fear my visage fell 
very rudely. But I wish much now I had seen more of 
Sir F. Scott : as he improves immensely on knowing 
him. On the 26th we left Messina for Reggio. 
(N.B. I have crossed the sea from Naples to Sicily so 
often this year, that I know nearly all the porpoises 
by their faces, & many of the Merluzzi.) Would 
I had gone on to the 2nd & 3rd provinces : but 
the revolution which bust out in Reggio prevented 
me. What is the use of all these revolutions which 


Rome, Greece, and England 

lead to nothing ? as the displeased turnspit said 
to an angry cookmaid. Returning to Naples for 
the 1 99th time, we disposed of a month as I have 
said over leaf, in the provinces of Basilicata, 
Melfi, Venosa, etc. etc., and were not sorry to have 
done so. 

Rome is full of fuss and froth : but I believe now 
that Pio IX. is a real good man, & a wonder. Rail- 
roads, gaslight, pavements, for all to be done in 
1960? The last part of my stay here was a blank 
from the death of my oldest Roman friend, good kind 
Lady Susan Percy. 1 

Remember me to my friends, & believe me, 
Dear Fortescue, 

sincerely yours, 



Feby. 12, 1848. 

Your letter of Oct. 25th 1847, ought to have been 
answered before now, & I have been going to do so 
ever since I had it, but I have said to myself " what's 
the use of writing to-day when you haven't 20 minutes 
or to-day when you've got the toothache, or to-day 
when you are so cross ? Fortescue won't thank you 
for a stupid letter, particularly as his was so very 
amusing, so you'd better wait you had. And so I 
have till I'm ashamed of the delay and therefore I'll 
send off note i8th be the letter of what degree of 
badness it may. First glancing over your bi-sheeted 
1 She was a sister of the fifth Duke of Northumberland. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

epistle thank you for your introduction to Baring : l 
he is an extremely luminous & amiable brick, and I 
like him very much, & I suppose he likes me or he 
wouldn't take the trouble of knocking me up as he 
does, considering the lot of people he might take to 
instead. We have been out once or twice in the 
Campagna, and go to Mrs. Sartoris, 2 or other 
evening popular approximations together. He 
would draw ; very well, and indeed does, but has 
little practice. Altogether he is one of the best 
specimens of young English here this winter, tho' 
there is a tolerably good sprinkling of elect & 
rational beings too. In fact it is a propitious season, 
the rumours of distraction prevented a many nasty 
vulgar people from coming, and there is really room 
to move. Among families, Greys, Herberts, Clives 3 
stand promiscuous ; of young ladies, Miss W. 
Horton, & Miss Lindsay are first to my taste, & 
of married ones, Mrs. G. Herbert & Mrs. Clive, 
then Lady W. is admired though by me not : 
she is so like a wren, I'm sure she must turn into 
a wren when she dies. The variety of foreign 
society is delightful, particularly with long names : 
e.g., Madame Pul-itz-neck-off and Count Bigenouff; 

1 Afterwards first Earl of Northbrook, Governor-General of 
India, 1872-6. 

2 Daughter of Lord Harrington. 

3 George Clive, a close personal friend of Lear's, was a 
barrister and politician, and at this time Judge of County Court 
Circuits. He became Under- Secretary of State for the home 
department 1859-1862. 


Rome, Greece, and England 

Baron Polysuky, & Mons. Pig : I never heard 
such a list. I am afraid to stand near a door, lest 
the announced names should make me grin. Then 
there is a Lady Mary Ross, 1 and a most gigantic 
daughter whom Italians wittily call " the great 
Ross-child," and her mama, " Rosso-antico." ... I 
miss the Gordon's 2 and my old kind friend Lady 
S. Percy sadly, & somehow the 6 & 3O-ness of my 
sentiments and constitution make me rather graver 
than of old : also, the uncertainty of matters here 
and everywhere, and my own unfixedness of plans, 
conspire to make me more unstable & ass-like than 
usual. . . . 

And now regarding yourself I heard all about your 
Greek tour with interest, and that you were returned 
to England and for Louth, as you will have found by 
a disgusting little letter I sent you at the end of 
last October. The most important part of your 
letter seems to me that which gives me news of your 
being so rich a man 3 : I can only say I am sincerely 
glad of it, and I don't flatter you when I say I believe 
you will make as good a use of your money as 
anybody. I long to know how you like your new 
parliamentary life : (Do you know a friend of mine, 
Bonham Carter M.P. for Winchester? 4 This 

1 One of the daughters and co-heiresses of the 2nd Marquess 
Cornwallis. 2 Sir A. and Lady Duff Gordon. 

3 Fortescue inherited Red House, Ardee, Co. Louth, from 
Mr. Ruxton his uncle, whose wife was a sister of Fortescue's 
father, Col. Fortescue of Dromiskin. 

* Brother-in-law of Baring. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

reminds me of " Have you been in India ? " " Yes." 
" O then do you know my friend Mr. Jones ? ") 
So pray let me hear from you. . . . 

Now I am at the end of replying to your letter, 
and a very jolly one it is. So I must e'en turn 
over another stone as the sandpiper said when he 
was alooking for vermicules. You ask what I am 
about, making of little paintings, one for Ld. 
Canning etc. etc., and one of a bigger growth for 
Ld. Ward, but I am in a disturbidous state along 
of my being undecided as to how I shall go on with 
art, knowing that figure drawing is that which I know 
least of & yet is the "crown and roof of things." I 
have a plan of going to Bowen I at Corfu and thence 
Archipelago or Greeceward, (Greece however is in a 
very untravellable state just now) should the state of 
Italy prevent my remaining in it for the summer. 
But whether I stop here to draw figure, or whether I 
go to Apulia & Calabria, or whether I Archipela go 
(V. A. Archipelago, P. Archipelawent, P. P. Archi- 
pelagone) or whatever I do, I strongly long to go to 
Egypt for the next winter as ever is, if so be as I can 
find a sufficiency of tin to allow of my passing 4 or 

5 months there. I am quite crazy about Memphis 

6 On & Isis & crocodiles and ophthalmia & 
nubians, and simooms & sorcerers, & sphingidce. 

1 Afterwards Sir George Fergusson Bowen, and successively 
Governor of Queensland, New Zealand, and other colonies. 
At this time he was President of the University of Corfu, and in 
1854 he was appointed Chief Secretary to Sir J. Young, Lord 
High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands. 


Rome, Greece, and England 

Seriously the contemplation of Egypt must fill the 
mind, the artistic mind I mean, with great food for 
the rumination of long years. I have a strong wish 
also to see Syria, & Asia Minor and all sorts of 
grisogorious places, but, but, who can tell ? You see 
therefore in how noxious a state of knownothingatall- 
aboutwhatoneisgoingtodo-ness I am in. Yet this is 
clear : the days of possible Lotus-eating are diminish- 
ing, & by the time I am 40 I would fain be in 
England once more. . . . 

But a truce to growling and reflections. I should 
have told you that Bowen has written to me in the 
kindest possible manner, asking me to go and stay 
with him at Corfu and I shall regret if I can't do so. 
I wish to goodness I was a polype and could cut 
myself in six bits. I wish you were downstairs in 
that little room. 

The introduction to Baring, afterwards first 
Earl of Northbrook, of which Lear here 
speaks with such genuine pleasure, was 
to be the beginning of a friendship which 
lasted until his death. Baring, throughout 
his long and varied public career, was not 
only a true friend to him, but also a patron 
of the kindest and most generous description. 

In the summer of the same year, Lear 
undertook a long-desired visit to Greece, in 
the company of Canon Church, another 


Letters of Edward Lear 

old friend and patron. To this visit we are 
indebted for one of the most beautiful pictures 
he ever painted, a large oil-painting of Ther- 
mopylae. Several replicas of this work exist, 
but I believe that the one possessed by 
Fortescue and reproduced in this book, is 
the original. 


July 19, 1848. 

Here I am having made somewhat of a dash into 
Greece, but most unluckily, obliged to haul up and 
lay by for the present. You may perhaps see my 
handwriting is queerish, the fact is I am recovering 
rapidly thank God, from a severe touch of fever, 
caught at Platcea & perfected in ten days at Thebes. 
I did not think I should ever have got over it, nor 
should I, but for the skill of two doctors, & the kind- 
ness of my companion Church. I was brought here 
by 4 horses on an Indiarubber bed, am wonderfully 
better, & in that state of hunger which is frightful 
to bystanders. I could eat an ox. Many matters 
contributed to this disaster, first a bad fall from my 
horse, and a sprained shoulder, which for three weeks 
irritated one's blood, besides that I could not ride. 
2nd. A bite from a Centipede or some horror, 
which swelled up all my leg & produced a swelling 
like Philoctetes' toe, and lastly, I was such a fool ; 
as go to Platcea forgetting my umbrella, where 
the sun finished me. However, I don't mean to 


Rome, Greece, and England 

give up and am very thankful to be as well as 
I am. 

I came you know here on June ist with Sir 
S. Canning, 1 and staid a fortnight working like mad. 
On the 1 3th Church and I set out. Chalcis is most 
interesting & picturesque, what figures ! would, ah ! 
would I could draw the figures ! We then resolved 
to do Eubcea, so, igth, Eretria, very fine. Aliveri, 
& Kumi. 2 1 st. Pass of mountains, grangrongrously 
magnificent ! Alas ! for the little time to draw ! 28th 
Lamia. 2gth a run up to Patragik a queer mountain 
place. All these things we were constantly warned 
off, as full of rebels, brigands &c., but we found all 
things as quiet as Pimlico. 3Oth Thermopylae! how 
superb! & Bodonitza. July ist. Costantino & 
Argizza. 2nd Proschino & Martini. 3rd, over 
Kokino & the mountains to the Thebes. Only this 
last, of the last 3 days was good. Thebes is sub- 
lime, but as I said, the day following it became a 
grisogorious place to me. 

I must stop for I am not much writable yet. Give 
my love to Sir F. Scott if you see him & to Baring : 
I am glad he is secretary or anything good, as he 
is such an extreme brick. 

THERAPIA, 2$th August, 1848. 

Your kind letter, just exactly though what \ 
expected, came to-day, much sooner than I anticipated. 

1 Sir Stratford Canning, afterwards Lord Stratford de Red- 
cliffe, at this time Ambassador at Constantinople. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Alas! of myself I can give you but a most flaccid 
account, greatly to be summed up in the word " bed," 
but not wholly so. However I have known perfect 
health for 1 1 years thank God, and if the tables 
are turned I must not be ungrateful, indeed I have 
been able to suck a large lesson of patience out of 
my 2 months compulsory idleness, and I hope I may 
be like any Lamb if ever we meet again. 

I continued to recover after I wrote to you, 
(2Oth July) & left Athens in good spirits & pretty 
strong, (i.e. I was able to walk as far as the Acropolis 
slowly, & with a stick,) on the 27th to Alexandria. 
Then I speedly fell ill again, but differently : yet 
when I got to Const ple I was obliged to be taken 
up to the Hotel in a sedan chair. Well, after two 
days I went up to the Embassy & was instantly 
put to bed with erysipelas & fever, and did not 
emerge on the banks of the Bosphorus till about 
August 13 ; and then very feebly. Since then I 
went a-head but had bad fever fits from not minding 
diet : to-day as 2 days have gone and the enemy 
comes not again, I have hope an am an hungered. 
Hunger! did you ever have a fever? No con- 
sideration of morality or sentiment or fear of punish- 
ment would prevent my devouring any small child 
who entered this room now. I have eaten every- 
thing in it but a wax-candle and a bad lemon. 
This house is detached from the big Embassy Palace 
& is inhabited by attaches, and though Lady Canning * 
1 Wife of the Ambassador. 


Rome, Greece, and England 

is as kind as 70 mothers to me, yet I see little of 
them. Could I look out on any scene of beauty, 
my lot would be luminous ; bless you ! the Bosphorus 
hereabouts at least, is the ghastliest humbug going ! 
Compare the Straits of Menai or Southampton 
Waters or the Thames to it! It has neither form 
of hill nor character of any possible kind in its 
detail. A vile towing path is the only walk here 

or a great pull up a bare down, of course, sun 
and climate make any place lovely, & thus all the 
praises of this far-famed place I believe savour of 
picnics, &c., &c. However I have seen but little 
of it so I will not go on, but lest you think ennui 
or illness disgust me let me say, that Thebes & 
Athens shed a memory of divinest beauty over much 
worse and more tedious sufferings than those I have 
endured here, which indeed are nought but weariness 

What to do, my Dear Fortescue when I return 
to England ! ! ? ? <; <? j ! (expressive of indelible doubt, 
wonder, & ignorance.) London must be the place, 
& then comes the choice of two lines ; society, & 
half days work, pretty pictures, petitmaitre praise 
boundless, frequented studio &c., &c. wound up 
with vexation of spirit as age comes on that talents 
have been thrown away : or hard study beginning 
at the root of the matter, the human figure, which 


Letters of Edward Lear 

to master alone would enable me to carry out the 
views & feelings of landscape I know to exist within 
me. Alas ! if real art is a student, I know no more 
than a child, an infant, a foetus. How could I. I 
have had myself to thank for all education, & a 
vortex of society hath eaten my time. So you see I 
must choose one or other & with my many friends 
it will go hard at 36 to retire please God I live for 
8 or 10 years but if I did wouldn't the " Lears" 
sell in your grandchildrens time ! But enough of this, 
and self. Grandchildren make me think of Baring's 
marriage, 1 which I am so really glad to hear of & 
shall write to him by this post. That good-natured 
fellow wrote to me from England, which I wonder 
anyone does so busy as you all must be there. I 
sincerely wish him a long career of happiness. But 
I trust you will soon follow his example & I keep 
on expecting of it. 

A year later finds Lear in England, paying 
visits to various friends, and meeting again 
Lord Derby, who had been his patron from 
the first. "The admirable quality of Lear's 
work for the Zoological Society had won him 
the close friendship and the generous 
patronage of the thirteenth Earl of Derby, 
for whom he drew the beautiful illustrations 
of that now rare volume ' The Knowsley 

1 Baring's marriage to Miss Sturt took place in September. 


Rome, Greece, and England 

Menagerie.' " Thus says his friend and 
executor, Franklin Lushington, in his preface 
to the " Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson," 
illustrated by Edward Lear, and brought out 
after his death, by Lord Tennyson, as a tribute 
to his memory. 


i August, 1849. 

On leaving town I came to the James Hornby's l 
at Winwick, & then migrated with them to 
Knowsley. After a week at each place and a day 
or two about Manchester, I came for 4 days to 
Tatton's of Wythenshawe and now am here for 
as many more. . . . 

Now all this time I have been living in a constant 
state of happiness. My dear old friends Mr. Hornby 
& Lord Derby I found just as ever, though 72 & 75 
and every day has caused fresh shaking of hands 
with old friends. Certainly English people do go 
on with friendship just where they left off, as you 
go on with a book at the page you last read. So 
you see, barring the queer climate I have been 
intensely happy, & if one were morbidly inclined, 
one would think that like Dives one was enjoying 
all one's good things here below. This place is 
one of the very nice dwellings in this land, the old 
house & the church & the lake are a perfect picture. 
So was old Elizabethan Wythenshawe, & at Winwick 

2 J. Hornby of Winwick, brother-in-law of Lord Derby. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

and dear old Knowsley there was a lot of sunshine 
quite vavacious to feel. Immense fun we have 
had, one has done little but laugh, eat, drink, 
& sleep. . . . 

I trust to get through 14 or 15 visits out of my 68. 
Willingly would I an your house were one : but I 
must be back in town by 2Oth Sept. at latest, (then 
comes furnishing & fidgetting & fussing,) after that 
hard real work. Did I tell you I had finally settled 
on taking 17, Stratford Place? 1 signed sealed and 
delivered, O! yes. How I hope you will come very 
often to look yourself into other lands. 

What do you think of my having nearly, all but 
become possessor of 40 or 50,000^ ? Fact, I assure 
you, it makes me laugh to think what I could possibly 
have done with such a statistic heap of ore! How- 
ever, I have never it seems been attentive enough to 
the old Lady 2 who always said she would enrich me, 
so she has died and left all to 30 poor widows for 
ever & ever, and much better too that she has left it 
thus, for I should not have made as good use of it. 
I thought directly I heard of this matter that I would 
instantly marry one of the 30 viddies, only then it 
occurred to me that she would not be a viddy any 
more if I married her. 

1 "Stratford Place," now Lear's headquarters when in England 
for some years. He had several " shows" of pictures both at 17 
and later at No. 15. 

2 I cannot trace this old lady, but she was not a relation, I 
fancy, for I believe he had no relations outside his own brothers 
and sisters, few of whom were still living at this time. 


Rome, Greece, and England 


July 19, 1851. 

Enter MARY. 

" Mary, has the boy come back from the Post with 
the letters yet ? " 

" Noa zur, hiss be drewndid ! " 
" He's what Mary ? " 

" Hiss be drewndid zur in the pewerfil rain." 
" Well, it certainly does rain Mary but I hope he 
aint drowned, for all that." 

Exit MARY. 

Re-enter MARY. 

"Here be tew litters zur: the boy is all queet 
drewndid zur as ever you see ! " 

Upon which I took up one, and you having been in 
my thoughts during this very morning, says I, how 
odd, it's Fortescue's writing! 

Upon which I opened it. 

Upon which I found it was from Mr. Gladstone. 

Upon which I said, Pish ! 

Upon which I took up letter No. 2. 

Upon which I found that was really yours. 

Upon which I took this paper and began, 

Dear Fortescue, I was very glad to find you were 
pleased with the painting, for I have taken long and 
great trouble about it, all my artist friends say I have 
made an enormous stride, so I hope to go on, but only 
by the same road, i.e., constant study and perseverance. 
You suppose rightly that I felt Lord Derby's death ; I 

17 c 

Letters of Edward Lear 

have not felt anything so much for many many years : 
22 years ago I first went to Knowsley, & have received 
nothing but kindness from him & his family ever since, 
so it is no great wonder his death should cause me 
sorrow. The painting 1 belongs to the present Earl, 
who will kindly allow me to have it for some time yet. 
Overworked and unwell & unable to bear the dis- 
quiet of London, I came at once to this very out of 
the way place, as, to get away at all, I was obliged to 
select a deadly cheap place, since while here I have to 
pay for 17, Stratford Place, also. I shall remain here 
and hereabouts, a tour in Cornwall with Lushington 2 
etc. till nearly November. 

Genus homo! I aint. I'm a landscape painter, & I 
desire you to like me as sich, or not at all : if I grow 
worse in my professional power, be sure I shall worsen 
in all ways : Lord how it does rain ! It always does 
here, but that's nothing, for I have a house full of 
books, & I've got a little bedroom and a small parlor, 
& a big loft made into a study (which would be pleasant 
if the cats didn't bumble into it every 5 minutes). 
And all that costs 55. a week : & I have 3 meals of 
food daily for is. 6d., and I'm finishing some water- 
coloured drawings by degrees, and arranging in my 
mind some paintings for the winter. There's only a 
curate as lives opposite, & keeps bees : all the rest 

1 Lord Derby died on June 13, 1851. 

* Franklin Lushington, another intimate friend and patron of 
Lear and his executor after his death. He was one of the two 
Justices in Corfu when Lear first went to reside there. 


Rome, Greece, and England 

of the village is miners, which reside underground. 
On Sunday I go to church, when there is a congrega- 
tion of 7 or i o and a tipsy clerk. O ! beloved clerk ! 
who reads the psalms enough to make you go into fits. 
He said last Sunday, " As white as an old salmon," 
(instead of white as snow in Salmon), " A lion to my 
mothers children " (for alien) & they are not guinea 
pigs, instead of guiltless ! Fact : but I grieve to say 
he's turned out for the same, & will never more please 
my foolish ears. 
, I suppose you never come into Devonshire ? 

Lord ! how it rains ! 

I have forsworn by this provincial step of mine all 
the luxuries & niceties of the year, to wit, cherries & 
all fruit, wine, & a number of other necessaries of life. 
We primitive Christians of Lydford have thrown off 
such fopperies. 

Please recommend all the Grand Jury to buy my 
' Journal of a Landscape painter.' I What are you 
doing with a Grand Jury? 

Where are you going this summer ? O Lord ! how 
it keeps raining ! 

Every post brings heaps of dinner & evening invita- 
tions. I think myself well off to be able to decline 
them at id. a piece. Now I must go back to my 
drawing of Syracuse, which thank goodness, is nearly 

1 This was the " Journal of a Landscape Painter in Albania," 
published in 1851 ; the companion Volume in Calabria was 
published in 1852. 


Letters of Edward Lear 


26 August, 1851. 

I have only just returned here, from a ramble in 
Cornwall, (not Simeon but the county, 1 ) and among a 
heap of letters, one from you, shall be answered first 
of all, barring sister Ann 2 & R. Hornby. 

You do perfectly well to project all your uncom- 
fortablenesses into my ear & buzzim at all times, for 
I can sympathize with you most perfectly, though I 
can do nothing else. Lord, how I wish I was a 
sucking Socrates like some men I know, wouldn't 
you have 5 sheets of advice ! But as I aint I may as 
well say that there is nothing of which I have so 
distinct a recollection as the fearful gnawing sensation 
which chills & destroys one, on leaving scenes & 
persons, for which & whom there are no substitutes till 
their memory is a bit worn down. I say, there is 
nothing I so distinctly remember, because those feeling 
are with me already taking the form of past matters, 
never again to recur, like cutting ones teeth, measles 
&c. Not that one has actually outlived the possibility 
of their repetition, but rather, I prevent them by keep- 
ing them at arm's length : I wont like anybody else, 
if I can help it, I mean, any new person, or scenes, or 
place, all the rest of my short foolish life. But the 
vacuum which you describe I used to suffer from 
intensely, & can quite feel for you. Yet you, it 
appears to me, might put an end to all chance of such 

1 Cornwall Simeon, his friend, son of Sir R. G. Simeon. 

2 His eldest sister,-, who had been a mother to him, she being 
the eldest and he the youngest of a family of twenty-one children. 



(From Lear's " Journal of a Landscape Painter in Albania 
and Illyria" 1851 ) 

Rome, Greece, and England 

blacknesses, by asking any young (or old if you prefer) 
Lady to marry you, which if you asked her she 
instantly would, whereas if / asked any, she instantly 
wouldn't. Well, I suppose you will one day : but I 
shall be in a horrid way till I see her, because as you 
are of the sensitive order, you will either be very 
happy or you won't. 

I shall not allow you to be deceived into the idea, 
that I am perfectly tranquil & happy here : quite the 
contrary. There is only one fine day out of 15, & 
all the rest are beyond expression demoralizing & 
filthy. My "straitened circumstances" forbid moving 
now I am here, and besides, I hate giving up a thing 
when I try it, & having declared I would paint the 
Glen scene, I will, I'll stay till I do. I would not so 
much care for the wet, as for being obliged when it is 
wet, to look at a dead wall and a rubbish heap opposite, 
and to see nothing all day but 27 pigs, & 18 cows. 
Experience teaches, and a village summer in Italy is 
another thing to this. ... I have faithfully promised 
to pass some days with C. Church near Ilchester 
before I return : these things, with the vain and 
frustrated attempts to get some studies of weeds and 
rox fill up my beastly Autumn, and send me back 
again to Stratford Place. 

I don't improve as I wish, which added to the rain, 
and the view, prevents "happiness and tranquillity." It 
is true I don't expect to improve, because I am aware 
of my peculiar incapacities for art, mental & physical : 
but that don't mend the matter, anymore than the 


Letters of Edward Lear 

knowledge that he is to be always blind delights a man 
whose eye is poked out. The great secret of my 
constant hard work is, to prevent my going back, or 
at best standing quite still. I certainly did improve 
last year a little, but I aint sure if Lydford and the 
rain and the cows won't have made me go back this 
year. However I did it all for the best, as the old 
sow said when she sat on her little pigs. . . . 

Bowen I must write to again, he wrote since I 
last did so to you, & I answered him. He is very 
good-natured, though as you say his rhinoceros-like 
insensibility to the small annoyances he deals out, 
would aggravate me. He is going to review my 
Albania he says, Bye the bye, I should think that 
little book has had as much good said of it as any ever 
have. I dare say you saw the Athenczum &c., & 
Taifs Magazine for this month. I wish I may get 
something for all this. When I return to town I shall 
join a nightly Academy for drawing from the life : 
thus you see showing you that I believe hard work is 
the best substitute for the Ideal. I shall try also to set 
about sundry big landscapes. But I will paint this glen, 
for all the rain and cows, if I stay here All my life. 

Lord ! Lord ! it is such a beastly place ! ! ! ! ! ! 

1 can go on no more. It makes me almost cry to 
think of what I suffer. So I'll read King Arthur. 

Write please. 1 wish I could see you, but I think 
you'd like me better where I am just now. I'm so 

Alfred Tennyson has gone to Italy. 


Rome, Greece, and England 

On his return to London, Lear joined the 
Academy schools, as the following letter and 
pictures will show : 


' - 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Rome, Greece, and England 

Letters of Edward Lear 

HASTINGS (vulgarly 'astins), SUSSEX, 

Jany. 23, 1853. 

You know all about how my front room ceiling fell 
down last July. Well after a very regular appli- 
cation here I completed 3 paintings Venosa, Reggio, 
and Thermopylae all 3 far the best I ever didded 
(or dod). On the 6th. Jany. having written before- 
hand to put my rooms right, I went up to town : 
anyhow, my time would be up at Stratford place at 
the half-quarter, so I was prepared to go on with a 
search for lodgings, you have heard me speak enough 
against the darkness of those I lived in. But lo! 
when I arrived the horrid fact was announced to me 
that that very morning all the back room ceiling had 

" Is there confusion in the little room ? " (said I to 
myself when I saw it). " Let what is broken so 
remain ! " 

It was indeed high time to quit the stage of 
Stratford Place, so I instantly packed up no slight 
operation with my immence lot of drawings and boox 
and as instantly rushed all over North West 
London for lodgings. At length I fixed on a house 
which Hansen has taken for himself, and where I 
have taken 2 floors for i year at 65, Oxford Terrace, 
Hyde Park. 

I could not, of course, stay in the Stratford Place 
aboad after the fall of Paris No. 2., nor can I 
get into the Oxf d Terrace till Feby. 10 so I had 
nothing to do but come down here again where at 


Rome, Greece, and England 

least there are fresh air, and muffins. I must tell you 
what you will be very glad to hear : wizz : that my 
large Parnussus is bought by the new Slissiter 
General my old and kind friend, Mr. Bethell (Sir 
Richard to be shortly). 1 It will be capitally placed 
and well seen a futuer wh : compensates for my not 
having got so much for it as I axd. Wots the hods 
so long as ones appy? 

I am now doing a huge picture of Syracuse 
Quarries ; starved Athenians judiciously introduced 
here and there. Since August I have been, as I told 
you, painting on an oly different principle, and so 
far with gt. success : I hope the Thermopylae will be 
hung in the Brit : Institution. 

If you come up to town before the lot let me 
know might you not rush down to dine here with 
me by a 5 p.m. train on Saturday and stay all 
Sunday? I now could give you a bed as the 
cucumber bed is too cold, and I have got a spare 
room. Do you know I have cut 2 new teeth? It 
was supposed I was ill of the mumps whereas it 
was dentifery. I impute all my health, and sperrits, 
and improved art and sense herefrom to the arrival of 
these 2 teeth. 

My sale of Parnussus, just enables me to pay part 
of the annual bills off, and to begin decently at Oxf d 
Terrace. Like a nass I gave away all I could, so as 
usual have none over to spare. One of my sisters is 

1 Afterwards first Baron Westbury. Became Lord Chancellor 


Letters of Edward Lear 

horridly poor, and another is going with all her child" 
and grandchild" to N. Zealand, and another wants 
some port wine being ill, and so on. But the fact is, I 
only wish for money to give it away, and there's lots 
to be done with it here if people wouldn't be above 
looking at what they should do, and wouldn't keep 
fussing about those fooly blacks. 

I've been reading Brooke's " Borneo " lately. What 
do you think of a society for clothing and educating 
by degrees the Orang outangs? 

The more I read travels, the more I want to move. 
Such heaps of N. Zealand as I have read of late ! I 
know every corner of the place ditto V. D. land 
ditto N. Holland. Will you go there ? Will you go 
to the Lake Tchad ? Someday though, if I can't 
scrape up money to go up the Nile, I think I shall 
ask you to take me there. I should like to go up 
there for 3 or 4 months well enough. 

Have you ever read "Calabria" yet? If you 
haven't do get it and recommend it astuciously to 
heaps of Dukes and Dsses. : it will do them good, 
and me too. 

In town I saw hardly anyone as you may suppose 
from my cadent ceiling and its sequences. The 
Bethells my sisters &c., and A., and o! Mrs A. 
How frigid that icie ladye was no Polar or N. Zemb- 
lan tongue can tell ! Not to me though for she is 
always very good natured to me but to all things in 
heaven and earth generally. By jingo ! it's too dread- 
ful to me that awful indifference ! Yet they seem 


Rome, Greece, and England 

happy together. No, my dear Fortescue, / don't 
mean to marry never. You should, but there's time 
enough yet for you 6 or 8 years perhaps. In my 
case I should paint less and less well, and the thought 
of annual infants would drive me wild. If I attain to 
65, and have an " establishm 1 " with lots of spoons 
&c. to offer I may chain myself: but surely not 
before. And alas ! and seriously when I look 
around my acquaintance and few men have more, 
or know more intimately, do I see a majority of 
happy pairs ? No, I don't. Single I may have few 
pleasures but married many risks and miseries are 
semi-certainly in waiting nor till the plot is played 
out can it be said that evils are not at hand. You 
say you are 30, but I believe you are ever so much 
more. As for me I am 40 and some months : by 
the time I am 42 I shall regard the matter with 42 de 
I hope. 

In one sense, I am growing very indifferent to the 
running out of the sands of life. Years are making 
me see matters with totally different eyes than I 
formerly saw with : but at the same time I am far 
more cheerful. I only wish I could dub and scrub 
myself into what I wish to be, and what I might be I 
fear if I took proper pains. But chi sa ? How much 
will be allowed for nature, and early impressions, and 
iron early tuition ? Looking back, I sometimes 
wonder I am even what I am. I often wonder and 
wonder how I have made so many certainly real 
friends as I have. Sometimes 6 or 8 of the kindest 


Letters of Edward Lear 

letters in the world come together, and the effect is 
rather humiliating tho' not to my peculiar idiosyn- 

I hope to go to Reigate to see Ld. Somers. 1 He 
is a great favourite of mine, from my knowledge of 
many excellent points of his character, from our 
having many sympathies in common, and from our 
looking at many present-day matters with similar 
views. She is a most sweet creature. I think her 
expression of countenance is one of the most unmiti- 
gated goodness I ever contemplated. I call that a model 
of a woman. Bother : I wish they wern't Earls and 
Countesses though I don't much care for I've been 
so rummy independent all my life that nobody thinks 
le ver like rank for ranks' sake I should think. 

I don't understand the Gladstone question only as 
I detest the bigotry of Denison and Bennett, so I 
suppose G. has a shade less of it. 2 Ma non troppo 
me ne fido anche a lui. 

But I grant your present Govt. are the best lot of 
workers we have had for a long time yet, and I do 
not see why Conservatives should be growled at if 
they advocate moderate reforms, without which a 

1 Formerly Lord Eastnor ; succeeded to the earldom in 
1852, husband of the beautiful Virginia Pattle (one of the 
loveliest women of her time), himself a man of great culture 
and artistic perception. 

2 After the defeat of Lord Derby's Ministry, Mr. Gladstone 
became very unpopular with the Conservative party, and was 
violently attacked by Archdeacon Denison and others, who said 
that the University of Oxford which Mr. Gladstone had been 
elected to represent, could place no more confidence in him. 


Rome, Greece, and England 

blind man may see that nothing will be conserved at 
all very shortly. O mi little i's and pegtops ! how 
it do rain and bio ! 

Will you give my compliments and remembrances 
to L d and L dy Clermont. 1 

1 Lord Clermont was the elder brother of Fortescue, and had 
married a daughter of the Marquis of Ormond. 

1856 and 1857 


HP H REE years later we find Lear settled 
* at Corfu, then under British protec- 
tion, and he remained there at intervals until 
the cession of the Ionian Isles to Greece in 
1864. The light thrown by his letters on a 
little-known chapter of our foreign policy 
gives them an additional interest. In 1854 
Lear had gone to Egypt and Switzerland, and 
in 1855 again to Corfu, but I unfortunately 
have failed to find any letters of those years. 
The long gap between the following letters 
and the last one quoted may be partly accounted 
for, by the fact that several written by him in 
the interim never reached Fortescue at all. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU, 19 Febry., 1856. 

It seems we were a writing to each other pretty 
nearly at the same time, for yours which I was truly 


Corfii and England 

thankful for, is dated Jan. 6th and I sent mine off to 
you on the 6th. But the letters were different, mine 
I fear me was so glumy that you might have been 
uncomfortable about me ever since, notwithstanding 
my growlygrumbleraroe (most), known nature, and 
therefore and wherefore, I shall send you this, though 
it will not be a long letter, rather than not write at all, 
for the days are so full of occupation that I vainly try 
for leisure. Up at 6, Greek master from 6| to 7f. 
Breakfast &c., to 9, then work till 4, or sketching out 
of doors, and either dining out or at home with 
writing and drawing fill up my hours. First, I wish 
you a happy new Year, & continually, if I didn't do 
so before. At all events I wish you a lot of happy 
new Leap-years. 

I still think of making Corfu my head-quarters, & 
of painting a large picture here of the Ascension festa 
in June, for 1857 Exhibition, & of going over to 
Yannina and all sorts of Albanian abstractions. 

I hope to send your drawing soon, together with 
Sir John Simeon's & Mr. dive's pictures. The reason 
I did not send the fellow to your "Morn broadens" 1 
was because I could not satisfy myself at all as to the 
quality of the one I began. Yours is so finished a 
picture that I should not like a less good one by its 

Do you know there has been literally no winter 
here ; they say it is 27 years since there was so little 

1 " Morn broadens on the borders of the dark/ 7 a beautiful 
oil belonging to Fortescue. 

33 D 

Letters of Edward Lear 

cold, & still some think we shall have a touch of 
rigour in March : in fact, I have scarcely any Asthma, 
& no symptom of Bronchitis at all. When I get a 
house, you must come out and have a run, & I'll put 
you up : I'll feed you with Olives & wild pig, and 
we'll start off to Mount Athos. Bowen his marriage I 
takes place at the end of April. The Balls are all 
over now & gaiety generally, dinners excepted, though 
I am going to soon back out of all, by dining early. 
The not being able to get any properly lighted 
painting room annoys me horribly, and I confess still 
to being at times very lowspirited and depressed, but 
not so much as before. 

You cannot tell me news of the Millais : the blind 
girl picture 2 was begun when we were together in 
Sussex. W. Holman Hunt has just come back, & 
Mr. Tennyson 3 writes is going there. I wish he was 
here The sort of lonely feeling of having no one who 
can sympathyze professionally with one's goings on, is 
very odious at times. Lushington would more or less, 
but his work is tremendously heavy, & when he gets 
any leisure, he rides or yachts, or shoots, all out of the 
way sports for me, except the former ; I did ride all 
last Saturday for a wonder, & wish I had tin to keep a 

1 He married a Greek, daughter of Roma, who was appointed 
Vice-Go vernor of Ithaca in 1858. Her brother married a sister 
of the Queen of Montenegro. 

2 Now in the Birmingham Art Gallery. 

3 Tennyson became a great friend of Lear's, who often stayed 
with him when in England. One of his poems is dedicated 
" To E. L., on his travels in Greece." 


horse. Have you any message to Lady Emily 
Ko^rj/otc? 1 The Lord High C. 2 & Lady Young are 
very good-natured, but I don't take to Court life, and 
not playing cards am doubtless a bore, or rather useless. 
But I suppose they are good people. There are really 
some very nice people here among the Militia Officers 
Ormsbys, Harringtons, Powers, &c. &c., and their 
going would aggravate them as stays behind. I am 
painting "And I shall see before I die the palms and 
temples of the south," for Sir John Simeon, being 
Phils by sunset, 3 but my eyes give me a good deal 
of trouble, and I don't know how they will bear the 

The following letter from Fortescue, con- 
taining an early reference to the celebrated Lady 
Waldegrave, may be of interest. Frances, 
widow of George, seventh Earl Walde- 
grave, was at this time the wife of George 
Harcourt, of Nuneham. She was the daughter 
of the greatest of English tenors, John Braham, 
who in his time carried the musical world 
by storm. He was of Jewish descent, a man 
of intense personality and independence of 
mind, and his daughter inherited these charac- 

1 Daughter of the second Earl of Clancarty and a cousin of 
Fortescue's. She married Signer Giovanni Kozziris in 1843. 

2 Sir John Young was appointed Lord High Commissioner 
in 1855. 

3 A replica of this was painted for Fortescue this year. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

teristics together with many others, which 
united to make her one of the most remarkable 
and interesting women of her day. She 
eventually married Fortescue : he had been 
devoted to her for years, and it was one of the 
happiest of unions. 

Fortescue to Lear. 


17 Sept. 1856. 

. . . During the latter part of the season I passed 
almost every Sunday at Strawberry Hill, 1 which Lady 
Waldegrave has restored, and made the oddest and 
prettiest thing you ever saw. She often asks after 
you and says she hopes often to see you there. I am 
sure you would like it, and she gets a charming society 
around her there. She did not go out last season 
at all on account of her father's death. Charles 
Braham 2 sang two or three times at the Haymarket 
opera with Wagner and Piccolomini. He was dread- 
fully nervous, but I am in great hopes will do well. 
... I was at a great Nuneham party. We had the 
D'Aumale's3 there, and very likeable Bourbons they 
are. . . . 

1 Strawberry Hill, Walpole's historic villa at Twickenham 
during the sixties and seventies the resort of all fashionable 

2 Brother of Lady Waldegrave. 

3 The Due d'Aumale was the fourth son of Louis Philippe, 
and was then living at Orleans House, Twickenham, to which 
he had retired after the revolution of 1848. 


From a coloured lithograph of a crayon drawing by y. A". S-winto 

To fact page j6. 

Corfii and England 

I am for holding hard by the Ideals and, if one 
set go, getting another ordered as soon as possible 
as we do our coats and boots when they wear out. 
This life is meant to be a life of ideals. We ought to 
feel like children and live on ideas of the future, as 
children do of the time when they will be "grown up." 
This is a cheerful view you will say and easier 
preached than practised. True I often " reck not 
my own rede " and I could give you a reason for 
this view of things at this moment presenting itself to 
my mind. Nevertheless it is true. And, if we cannot 
keep hold of our ideals, Schiller tells us of two com- 
panions which never forsook him, and which I suppose 
would console and soothe though I think there are 
some ideals even they would never replace Friend- 
ship and Employment. As to myself, I got through 
the Session and season pretty well. ... I made one 
Parliamentary effort of some importance in defence of 
the [ Irish system of National Education, which I 
believe to be a just one and doing great good. I had 
a very nice letter from your amiable Lord High 
.Commissioner, congratulating me on my speech on 
that occasion. Touching you, he speaks thus : " I 
ought to have written to you before in answer to your 
note about Lear. We have found him a most agree- 
able person and a great addition to our society, and 
we all like him very much especially Lady Young, 
who has taken to sketching with great ardour." I 
have always liked Sir J. Y. : I never knew much 
of her Ladyship. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Lear to Fortescue. 


9. October, 1856. 

I have just returned from a 2 month's tour, whereby 
I have seen and drawn all Mount Athos, 1 & have 
seen Troy, slightly and whereby, which is far better, 
I have gained a great amount of health bodily & 
mentle, to my great satisfaction & I hope thankful- 
ness, & also I trust to the benefit obliquely of many of 
my felly creatures who will hereafter peeroase my 
jurnles, and admyermy pigchers. Among a heap of 28 
letters one from you delights my soal : date R. D. 2 
17. Sept. I am glad you are so merry & that you are 
enjoying the summer so much. You have not written 
to me, (you nasty brute !) for six months. I wish I 
could see Strawberry Hill. Have you seen Alfred 
Seymour 3 since he came back ? I was very glad of your 
parliamentary movement.4 I'm not for holding by 
the "Ideals": they've bothered me all my life, and I 
now mean to try how far I can make some realities. 

1 Athos was his magnum opus. 

2 Lear's way of writing Ardee. 

3 Alfred Seymour, a barrister, younger son of Henry Seymour 
of Knoyle House. Entered Parliament 1863. 

* On the iyth of June Mr. Walpole moved a resolution on 
the subject of Education in Ireland, which was carried against 
the Ministry, but Mr. Fortescue subsequently moved a counter- 
resolution, which, after a considerable discussion, was carried. 


Corfti and England 

Nevertheless a letter from Mrs. A. Tennyson tells me 
that Alfred is writing away. (I saw CEnone on the 
plains of Troy : she had a pink gown on : one arm 
and one breast wholly uncovered, a large mole upon 
the latter & a slight moustache on her upper lip : 
altogether a different person from what one expected.) 

Sir J. Young's notice of me was flattering, tho' 
I vow I was never agreeable at all. Lady Y. is a 
good-natured lively woman, albeit she takes no 
especial part such as her position might warrant, as 
to schools &c. &c. I believe seemingly Sir John is 
an amiable well-meaning man, but wholly easy & 
quite in the hands of Bowen : as indeed how for a 
time can it be otherwise, since in so short a time, not 
even Solomon could understand these Islands. 

Please give my best remembrances & compliments 
to Lady Waldegrave. Her conduct to her father 
and family has evidently always been heart-action, 
and everyone respects her for it, as being like unto 
what very few dare to practise. 

I trust to paint a magnificent large view of Corfu, 
straits, and Albanian hills. This I trust to sell for 
500^ as it will be my best, and is 9 feet long. If 
I can't sell it I shall instantly begin a picture 10 feet 
long: and if that don't sell, one 12 feet long. Nothing 
like persisting in virtue. O dear! I wish I was up 
there, in the village I mean, now r , on this beautiful 
bright day ! However I got unwell, & bluedevilled, 
& I made up my mind that I could work no more till 
something called out my boddly & mentle N.R.G.S. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

So I said, I'll go to Mt. Athos : (I should have gone 
to M. Negro with A. Seymour had I not missed the 
steamer). And off I set on Aug. 7th taking my 
servant, canteen, bed & lots of paper & Quinine Pills. 
F. Lushington saw me as far as QtXaOes, but then I fell 
down a high flight of (19) stone stairs & damaged my 
back sadly. I thought I was lame for life, but after 4 
days on a mattress, I got on pillows & a horse, & 
went over to Yannina & to Pindus, & (in great pain) 
to Larissa, & finally to Saloniki. There getting 
better I went slick into To "Aytog "O/ooe or the Holy 
Mountain, altogether the most surprising thing I have 
seen in my travels, perhaps, barring Egypt. It is a 
peninsular mountain about 2OOoft. high & 50 miles 
long ending in a vast crag, near 7000 feet high, this 
being Athos. All but this bare crag is one mass of 
vast forest, beech, chestnut, oak, & ilex, and all round 
the cliffs and crags by the sea are 20 great and ancient 
monistirries, not to speak of 6 or 700 little 'uns above 
and below and around. These convents are inhabited 
by, altogether perhaps, 6 or 7000 monx, & as you 
may have heard, no female creature exists in all the 
peninsula : there are nothing but mules, tomcats, & 
cocks allowed. This is literally true. 

Well, I had a great deal of suffering in this Athos, 
for my good man Giorgio caught the fever, & nearly 
died, & when he grew better I caught it, but not so 
badly. However I persisted & persisted & finally 
I got drawings of every one of the 20 big monasteries, 
so that such a valuable collection is hardly to be 



(From Lear's " Journal of a Landscape Painter in Albania 
and Illyria" 

Corfu and England 

found. Add to this, constant walking 8 or 10 hours 
a day made me very strong, & the necessity I was 
under of acting decidedly in some cases, called out a 
lot of energy I had forgotten ever to have possessed. 
The worst was the food & the filth, which were uneasy 
to bear. But however wondrous and picturesque the 
exterior & interior of the monasteries, & however 
abundantly & exquisitely glorious & stupendous the 
scenery of the mountain, I would not go again to the 
"Aytoc "O/H>C for any money, so gloomy, so shockingly 
unnatural, so lonely, so lying, so unatonably odious 
seems to me all the atmosphere of such monkery. 
That half of our species which it is natural to every 
man to cherish & love best, ignored, prohibited and 
abhorred all life spent in everlasting repetition of 
monotonous prayers, no sympathy with ones fellow- 
beans of any nation, class or age. The name of 
Christ on every garment and at every tongue's end, 
but his maxims trodden under foot. God's world and 
will turned upside down, maimed, & caricatured : if 
this I say be Xtianity let Xtianity be rooted out as 
soon as possible. More pleasing in the sight of the 
Almighty I really believe, & more like what Jesus 
Christ intended man to become, is an honest Turk 
with 6 wives, or a Jew working hard to feed his little 
old clo' babbies, than these muttering, miserable, 
mutton-hating, man-avoiding, misogynic, morose, & 
merriment-marring, monotoning, many-mule-making, 
mocking, mournful, minced-fish & marmalade masti- 
cating Monx. Poor old pigs ! Yet one or two were 

Letters of Edward Lear 

kind enough in their way, dirty as they were : but it 
is not them, it is their system I rail at. 

So having seen all, and a queer page in my world- 
nollidge is Athos! I came back to Saloniki, and 
set sail for the Dardanelles, where being obliged to 
stay 4 days for a steamer, I spent 3 in seeing Troy. 
But dear Mother Ida L could not reach, & I do trust 
to go there in the spring of 1857, for there is a some- 
thing about the Troad scenery quite unique, if it be 
not equalled by the R. Compagna as to grand and 
simple outlines. 

Thence I came by sea to Corfu, getting here on the 
7th & being thrust into this place till Saturday the 
nth & be d d to the owls for their folly. 

Fortescue to Lear. 


()th December 1856. 

... I am delighted to hear that, while you abuse 
the " Ideal," you are growing rapidly into the 
ideal Edward Lear the " model man." Don't you 
know that there is somewhere or other an ideal 
Edward Lear and an ideal Chichester Fortescue? 
There we are arranged in some Divine Museum 
probably ticketed to avoid mistakes : the question is, 
how like the actual E. L. and C. F. are to their tg ' a . 
Do you think we should know ourselves ? Let us try 
in God's name to grow as like our ideals as we 
can. What a splendid saying that is " till we all 


Corfu and England 

come to the Perfect Man to the measure of the 
stature of the fulness of Christ." . . . 

I am looking forward to Tennyson's book. My 
temper was sorely tried the other day by old Lady 
Ormonde saying that " she wondered how an old 
man could write such nonsense as Maud." . 

Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU, n. January 1857. 

Let me see, the best way to answer your letter 
is to look over the document hisself, & go on 
a answering it symoniously. ... ist Come remarks 
about my Athos tour : I am getting up (by my 
usual dilatory but sure process of penning out and 
colour) all my drawings of the Monasteries, and 
have them ready all but 10 or 12, thanks to after 
dinner applecation and stayathomeaciousness. They 
are a reemarkible lot of work, as I hope one day you 
will see : mind, if you do come while I am here, 
I have now a better spare bed-room than you'll get 
anywhere in the town, & you should do just as you 
liked, barring leaving the windys open all night, 
because then my landlord's 29 cats would perforate 
the domestic tranquillity of my establishment. I must 
tell you with a feeling of pride & conflatulation that 
I have made such progress in Greek as to be able 
to read the Testament (in old as well as modern,) 
quite comfortably : and since I can read the life of 
Christ in the Original, my desire of seeing the actual 
places he lived in are not to be stoppled any more. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

1 gain more fixed and real ideas from the actual 
history than from our translation. 

2ndly I understand you now quite about the 
"Ideal": My dear boy, I alas! am a long long 
way off my ideal ! & I don't see how it can 
ever be got at, though I am notwithstanding 
happy to say that I sometimes DO think I am 
a little bit nearer the mark than I was. But, 
hang it, there must be an ideal Mrs Lear to make 
up the perfect ideal, & how that is to come about 
I can't yet tell. Some of your expressions on this 
head are exactly like my friend Lushington's here, 
only that yours come out spongetaneous, whereas his 
have to be got at by wrenching and imploring, he 
being, though a diamond as to value, yet hidden in 
a tortoise's shell, & doing nothing so little as con- 
tributing an iota of personal experience for the benefit 
of others. 

3rd -About the blessed Bowen. On the day your 
letter came, burst out the news that he was, to use his 
own account, "offered the Gov. Secretaryship of 
Mauritius, such change being intimated as a mere 
step to further advancement : and that he should 
return here as Lord Hpgh] C[om]. l 

4th All you said of " Maude " is true & interesting. 

O my i! Lady Ormonde!. In this queer place very 

few ever heard of Maude or Tennison, & if you hear 

of such a song spoken of as from " Maude" so certain 

are you to hear " oh ! indeed ! Colonel Maude of the 

1 Bowen did not go after all. 


Corfu and England 

Buffs ! very distinguished officer, but I had not the 
least idea he was a poet ! " 

5th I trust your Aunt l will recover quite and be 
spared to you many years. You are a great comfort 
to her, & I certainly should like to see her. Some- 
how that does not seem to me so much off the cards 
as a year ago. For though I shall hardly come to 
England this year, yet if I do so next, I really believe 
you'll see me in Patland. Prepare notwithstanding 
the ideal, to see me a good deal changed like Dan 
Tucker, all de wool comes off my 'ed, & I am older 
than Babylon in many ways. I wish sometimes I 
grew hard and old at heart, it would I fancy save 
a deal of bother : but perhaps its all for the best. 

There, that is all of the answering. And I must 
needs wind up with a short & serious account of 
myself. On coming out of Quarantine, the brutal 
earthquake having spifflicated my old rooms, I had to 
remove, & I thought it better to get an expensive 
place at once, on condition I could find a room for 
work. Whereby I took the ground floor of Scarpa's 
house on the Condi Terrace, or more properly speak- 
ing, Bastione, St. Atanasio, for which I pay 6 a 
month. This is the plan of the baste. I. is my 
stewjew 30 feet long : 3 windys all a looking to 
the North East, whereby the light is always perfect. 

1 Mrs. Ruxton, widow of Mr. Ruxton of Red House. She was 
devoted to her nephew Fortescue, and this affection was fully 
reciprocated by him. He spent much of his time with her at 


Letters of Edward Lear 

This room I use only as a study, Greek & painting. 
My great 9 feet canvas makes a good show of work 
in it just now. 2. is the sitting & dining room : very 

nice & comfortable, library, good table, matting, & 
very old prints of Oxford Terrace around : Tennyson, 
Lord Derby, & Mr. Hornby portraits : various Athos 
oddities here & there. 3. is a small & sinopotho- 
mostic chamber adorned with my framed sketches & 
pick pictures as are finished, for people to come 
& see. Vich the coming of a live Markis & Mar- 
chioness (Drogheda) and several other membiers of 
the Peeriage vos the proudest moment of my life. 
4. is my bedroom plain & comfortable. 5 a lumber 
& spare room to be done up proper for you when 
you come. 6. my man Giorgio Kokali's 1 room. It 
is Mr. Kokali's opinion & compliment that the painting 
I am now doing of Corfu will prevent all other 
Englishmen coming here, for says he Start ilvai UHTTE rfjv 

dtvaiv, roaov aicpta>c OTI icavcva SlAet va irXrip^aet va IX^rj Icto 

where's the good of people paying for coming so far 
if they can see the very same thing at home ? Giorgio 
is a valuable servant, capital cook, & endlessly obliging 

1 Giorgio Kokali, Lear's faithful servant, lived with him till 
he died at San Remo, when his son took his place. 


Corfu and England 

and handy, not quite as clean as I should like always, 
but improving by kindness. 1 teach the critter to 
read & write, & he makes long strides ! 

Over-head live Major & Mrs. Shakespeare, really 
clever & nice quiet people. The houses here are so 
thin that one hears everything, so good neighbours 
are real blessings. Condi Terrace is the " West-end " 
of Corfu and we are all more or less swells as lives 
in it. Next door lives my friend the Justice F. 
Lushington. Further on the Cortazzi, a family of 
whom more another time. Then the Parson, which 
is a brick. At the other end Colonel Gage, & the 
other Justice Sir James Reid. 1 If you come I'll ask 
them to come and dine : being a distinct Lord of the 
Treasury 2 it behoves a friend to match you with 
almighty swells. 

Well I set to work fearfully, riz at 5^ always at 6 
& to 8J 6 StSaffKoAoe epxfrat.3 And then I paint till 3 or 
4 having breakfasted at 9 and I walk a bit till 6. Dine 
at 6J, and pen out my Athos drawings till 10. My 
'elth is on the 'ole pretty good & I can work longer 
than before this year. My big Corfu will be a 
stunner, & I mean to try for 500 guineas for him, he 
be 9 feet 4 inches long, & 6 feet 'i. I hope to get 
him to Manchester in time. 

I meant to finish out & out a regular long letter 

1 Member of the Supreme Council in Ionian Islands, holding 
office of Supreme Justice in rotation, 1837-58. 

2 Fortescue was appointed a Lord of the Treasury in March, 

3 " The master comes." 


but cannot do so, for 6 letters having come by post, 
and among them one very sad one from Holman 
Hunt, who writes in great affliction on account of the 
death of his father, and of Seddon our friend who was 
with us in Egypt. 1 So I have to reply to that as well 
as 3 others. One is from Alfred Seymour, a very 
nice letter. I am so sorry I have not received one he 
wrote from Vienna. If you see him, thank him & 
say I will write very omejutly. Moreover, the wind 
has turned South & so virulent that my chimbly 
smokes, so that I can't go on no how, & it is so damp 
& cold I must go to bed I fear. This is the only 
drawback to the house. 

The Palace folk continue to be very kind to me, 
& I like them better. Sir John Y. is evidently a kind 
good man, & I fancy more able than he was thought 
to be. The truth being that it is no easy matter to 
act suddenly, where as here, language & people are 
unbeknown & all power is in the hands of the secre- 
tary. Lady Y. lives too much for amusement, but she 
certainly improves & I believe I should end by liking 
her very much if I saw more of her. Now my dear 
boy I must close this as the Cyclopses used to say of 
their one eye. I wish I had written more or betterer, 
but can't. My 'ed is all gone woolgathering. Do 
you write again as soon as ever you can, if ever so 
shortly, & believe me always, Dear Fortescue, 
Yours affectionately 


1 Thomas Seddon, the landscape painter. 

Corfu and England 

May this and many others be very happy New 
Years to you. 

Here my boy ! give me your eternal thanks for 
what I am going to suggest to you as a parliamentary 
motion, to be brought out & spoken on by yourself, 
to the ultimate benefit of society & to your own post- 
perpetual glorification. As soon as Parliament meets, 
move that all Sidney Herbert's distressed needle- 
women be sent out at once to Mount Athos ! By this 
dodge all the 5000 monks young and old will be 
vanquished : distressed needle-babies will ultimately 
awake the echoes of ancient Acte, & the whole fabric 
of monkery, not to say of the Greek church will 
fall down crash & for ever. N.B. Let the needle- 
women be all landed at once, 4000 at least, on the 
South-east side of the peninsula & make a rush for the 
nearest monastery, that subdued, all the rest will 
speedily follow. 

CORFU, May i, 1857. 

My dear 4oscue, May 4. Which the above was 
writtle flee days ago, but this very mominlet comes a 
letter from you, date Apl. 23 ? as usual always one 
of my regular pleasures. Now, this letter will neither 
be a nice one nor a long one, but, just the hopposit 
for it is to say I am coming to England fast as I 
can, having taken a redboom at Hansens 16. Upper 
Seymour Street, Squortman Pare, and also a rork- 
woom or Stew-jew at 15 Stratford Place. 

My big picture is in a mess, & without Holman 
Hunt's help I can't get on with it, though it is done 

49 E 

Letters of Edward Lear 

as to what must necessarily be done here, and requires 
but 2 months of cropping and thought. Pray heaven 
I may sell it. I bring to England my drawings of 
Athos, I hope, for publication. Also sketches of Corfu 
for separate lithogrofigging, & sale here. Also one 
or two paintings to finish. Why are you coming say 
you? because I can't stay here any longer without 
seeing friends & having some communion of heart & 
spirit with one who should have been this to me, 
I have none. And I can't bear it. And I want to 
see my sister. And also another sister who is going 
to N. Zealand, before she goes. And some Canadian 
cousins. And you. And my dear Daddy Holman 
Hunt, & other people. So I'm off. 

What a talk we will have! B[owen] goes about 
saying that Mauritius is very angry that L[abouchere] * 
sent them out a Doctor? and beg for him. ... I am 
glad T. Baring is M.P.3 he is a good-hearted boy. 
I shall do you the little Jerusalem con amore. Don't 
pollygize about your not writing : I gnoo how bizzy u 
were. I didn't go off East, because Clive did not 
come, he stood for Derbyshire and failed. I hope 
I may see Strawberry Hill with you. Give my 
remembrances to Lady Waldegrave. 

1 Henry Labouchere, at this time Colonial Secretary, became 
Lord Taunton in 1859. 

2 Humphrey Sandwith, C.B., was appointed secretary at 
Mauritius. He had had a varied and interesting career, as 
correspondent to the Times at Constantinople in 1853, and 
as staff-surgeon, &c., during the Crimean War. 

3 For Falmouth. 


Corfu and England 

How I long to have a talk with you. You seem 
to me to be much more be firm-ified & be-moral- 
strengthefied and goaheady since we parted. I don't 
know what to say about the Secretaryship for the 
Colonies. 1 Personally I should like you there 
naturally : but the place ought to be filled by one 
who KNOWS and studies the subject thoroughly. 
(Stanley 2 for instance.) But I don't say you wouldn't 
or couldn't. Do not decide hastily on non-application 
for it. But who is going out of it? Just a beastly 
letter as this never was ! O life ! life ! life ! What is 
the next to be ? 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 

RED HOUSE, ARDEE, 14. Sept., 1857. 
DEAR LADY WALDEGRAVE, I think you may be 
amused by my writing you some account of my visit 
to Ireland, if you have courage to look at such an 
alarming sheet of paper as this is : but if it appears 
too frightful you can easily tear it up, or at least not 
read it. You will have heard from Charles Braham 
that we were very comfortable at Ravensdale : really 
I never saw a more delightful place, nor a better house 
than Lord Clermont's, & the days I passed there were 
most pleasant. I had known Lord & Lady Clermont 

1 Fortescue's friends wished him to apply for the post. He 
became Under Secretary for the Colonies from 1857 to 1858, 
and again from 1859-1865. Afterwards he was appointed Chief 
Secretary for Ireland, &c., &c. 

* Edward John, second Baron Stanley of Alderley, at this 
time President of the Board of Trade. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

years ago in Rome, (even before I knew the Fortescue,) 
& as they are extremely nice persons, Ravensdale, 
including possessors, grounds, gardens, house, hills, 
heather, views, peacocks, & rabbits, rivers, dinners, 
with all the objects and things in general, seemed to 
my thinking a first rate place. Nevertheless I was 
curious to see RD, & the Red House, & above all 
the Aunt, so that I was not sorry to come here, the 
rather that I am always more or less disagreeable if I 
am not at work. 

The Irish are funny people, & the moment one 
lands here it is evident that England & Ireland are 
very different countries in many respects. Among 
other odd ways of speech, the common people never 
by any chance say Yes, or No, : e.g. Is it time to go ? 
"It is not Sir" or "It is Sir" Have you cleaned 
my boots. " I have Sir " or " I have not Sir." When 
we asked at Dublin if the Scientific Association meet- 
ing was over, they said " Indeed & it isn't, but the 
strength of it is pretty well broken," as if it were a 
revolution. But one of the best absurdities is told of 
an old woman here, who though pretty well off grumbled 
horribly, & when they said to her that for good clothes, 
prosperous children, a kind husband & comfortable 
house she ought to thank God "And sure don't he 
take it out of me in Corns ! " said she. I go into fits 
of laughing here, when they call after Fortescue, 
" MIMBER ! " and it is also very queer to hear them 
congratulate him on being at home again. 

But the Wonder and crowning part of Redhouse is 


Corfu and England 

the Aunt, Mrs. Ruxton : I never saw such a delightful 
or so extraordinary an old lady: at 85, she has all the 
activity of mind and body of persons at 60 in usual 
life, & far more of the bright intelligence, absolute 
fun, constant cheerfulness, unselfishness, good sense 
and judgment, kindness of thought & deed than 
usually can be found united in any individual of any 
age. Only she is a little deaf, but that at times, not 
always. It is quite singular to observe how she enters 
into the interest of all kinds of matters, & never seems 
to tire, tho' she is out in the garden by 7, & goes to 
bed not before 1 1 at night ! What with her garden, 
the grounds, the house, writing letters, visiting her 
poor people, attending her schools, (she drives herself 
about in a pony-chaise,) reading and talking, she never 
seems to have an unoccupied moment, & tho' at first 
I thought this might be an unusual state of things, 
I find she is exactly the same day by day. The old 
lady has still the remains of great beauty & her 
expression is one of the most perfectly benevolent & 
animated you can imagine. She is immensely fond 
of Fortescue, & no wonder, for he is just like a son to 
her. Chichester Fortescue has in fact appeared to me 
quite in a new light since I saw him here : I always 
knew many of his qualities well, his good and general 
taste in matters of literature, art, &c., his great truth- 
fulness & his warm and generous disposition : but I 
was not prepared to find him so active in all county & 
parochial business, nor had I ever seen him in the 
position of a most affectionate child as he is to Mrs. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Ruxton. It is always a great thing to find that longer 
and closer knowledge of character makes it more 
esteemed & liked, and my stay here has already caused 
me to think higher of Chichester Fortescue & to like 
him better than I ever did before, & that is saying 
no little. 

Another point of Mrs. Ruxton's character is her 
quiet & regular piety, though that you might assume 
from my description of her goodness : she is in a word 
a tip top Christian multiplied by 20 & I never believed 
I could see so much to admire in any old lady. 

Our party is small here only Chichester Hamilton, 
Fortescue's nephew, a good quiet lad. (They are all 
anxious enough about his brother John, 1 who is near 
Benares). And a fourth person is a lady, formerly 
governess to Miss F[ortescue]. 2 A very good person 
also, but given to enunciate sentences & ask questions 
as if she were reading from a book in a manner that 
tries our gravity now & then. " Have you ever, Mr. 
Fortescue, been induced to tempt the tempestuous 
waves of the remote Atlantic in order to visit the 
wondrous New World?" "Tea is an innoxious & 
wholesome beverage & is acceptable at all times," are 
specimens of what I mean : but Miss B. is very full 
of information & very amiable & attentive to Mrs. 
Ruxton. After prayers & breakfast, I collapse into a 

1 John Hamilton was at this time holding a post as Engineer, 
and was in the thick of the Indian Mutiny. He died on 
October 19, 1858. 

a Younger sister of Fortescue, and wife of David Urquhart, 
later M.P. for Stafford. 


From a photograph of a pictu 

To face pages 4- 

Corfii and England 

small studio which they have given me, where I paint 
away till luncheon time, & again afterwards till 6, 
when I walk with C. F. till 7 : but I am not sure that 
the experiment of working in a friends house is a good 
one, seeing that I am always wrapped up in what I 
am about, and as I rarely succeed as I wish, am in 
proportion cross and disgusting. Meanwhile every- 
body is very kind and good natured and lets me do as 
I please, so that I have nothing particular to growl 
at, not even having corns, like the old lady above 


3. October, 1857. 

I have at last left the Red House and its happy 
family, for so they really are. I cannot remember 
to have been so happy for a long while past. As 
for Mrs. Ruxton, she is certainly a more extra- 
ordinary and delightful old lady than any description 
can convey an idea of : she is so constantly the same 
and yet with such varied interest and liveliness that 
one cannot help liking her more and more each day. I 
am so glad to have a photograph of her with Fortescue, 
which is very good I think. 1 On the 26th F. & I 
went to Newcastle, which is not in Northumberland 
as the school books tell us, but in the county of Down, 
& is a village by the side of the omnivorous ocean. 
Lord & Lady Clermont had a house there, & the 
scenery all about the place is very charming. One 

1 The frontispiece is a companion one, taken of Lear and 
Fortescue at the same time at Red House. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

day we passed at Tullamore Park, 1 a really fine place, 
full of beautiful ruins & bridges & trees & roads & 
mills & hills, & lawns & laurels & a high mounting 
above all, up to the top of which, Lady C. F., Miss 
Hamilton, 2 & I walked, which was not an easy task 
because we 3 had to go at such a pace to keep up with 
Fortescue,3 who, having the luncheon in his pocket, 
insidiously endeavoured to distance us, to eat it, so our 
fears told us, clandestinely, before we reached him. 
Nevertheless we all reached the top together, & 
behaved very well & amiably, all of us. In coming 
down thro' the woods we were seized with frightful 
pangs of hunger, & devoted some time to the im- 
moderate consumption of blackberries. After that we 
found a place where there had been a picnic, & we 
amused ourselves very intellectually for a long period 
in shying stones at a bottle, which nobody hit, tho 1 
after Lady Clermont & I turned & left the spot, 4oscue 
& his niece basely made a tinkling sound on the glass, 
& declared they had thrown at it successfully. After 
that we found a million ot bits of blue paper, torn up 
by the picnic-makers in triumphant certainty that 
oblivion would rest upon their names thus destroyed : 
but we employed a considerable space in sedulously 
joining all the little bits, & finally made out two cards 
& addresses, viz, " Miss Maconochie " & " Dr. Forde " 

1 The residence of the Earl of Roden. 

2 Fortescue's niece. 

3 Fortescue always outdistanced all walkers, and brought 
them in a state of breathlessness to the end of their walks 
or climbs. 


Corfu and England 

which we left openly in the middle of the road, to the 
dismay & disgust of all deceitful & presumptious lovers 

On Tuesday the 29th we all broke up, & C. F. & I 
returned to Red House. A letter came yesterday 
from John Hamilton at Dinapore, but to his father, 1 so 
its contents were unknown : but the fact of its being 
sent seems to be good news, at least of his safety. 

dear ! such a many people have rushed upon me, 
that I must leave off: This good kind Lord & Lady 
Seaton are exactly the same as they used to be 10 
years ago. Excuse my detached & absurd note, 
because I am so distractable. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

ROYAL HOSPITAL Oct. 3. 1857, 

1 shall write you a line, though there aint much to 
say. I got to Dublin safely, only discompozed a little 
because the only person in the 

Railway compartment I got into 
was a very fat woman, just exactly 
like a picture of Jonah's whale I 
used to see when a child in a 
picture bible. I was horribly afraid S* ^^ ; 
she would eat me up & sat expect- - 3111 *: \ 

ing an attack constantly, till the 
arrival of the train relieved me of apprehension. At 
the Bilton I found a note from that kind good Lady 
1 Husband of Fortescue's eldest sister. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Seaton, saying as an old acquaintance of mine, Mr. 
Drummond & others had left suddingly, & there vos 
beds to spear. So I went on, and passed a very 
pleasant evening. Some of the party were excursing 
in Wicklow, & among them the fair De Salis 1 who 
only came in late, & I don't think I delight in her 
appearance or manners any more than I used to do. 

The Pictures gave great pleasure, & I had a good deal 
of talk with fine old Lord Seaton 2 about the Indian 
Revolt. He believes that Havelock will succeed at 
Lucknow.3 I have pretty well made up my mucila- 
ginous mind to cross to Liverpool to-night. The day 

1 Daughter of Count Jerome de Salis, and afterwards wife of 
Col. Challoner, of Portnall Park. 

2 One of the most distinguished soldiers of his time, and a 
Peninsular and Waterloo hero. He died in 1862. 

3 The city was relieved on the 25th of September 


Corfu and England 

is highly beastly & squondangerlous, & there is no fun 
in going about in the pouring rain in a car to make 
calls, so I shall write to Arch d> Strong, & send a book 
to Dudgeon's children, whereby you see, albeit I quiet 
my conscience, yet I am not so virtuous as You thought. 
However, it is all on your shoulders. 

So, I shall very probbabbly be in the great Exbt ion> 
on Tuesday, after all. Stand at the 2nd arch-place 
marked X and looking through the door D. you will 
see Syracuse. 

I wish I was at Redhouse, a dispensing of Butter. 
Goodbye, my dear Mimmbr. 

A fortnight or so later, after a series of 
visits to Henry Bruce afterwards Lord Aber- 
dare another patron of his, Gambier Parry 
and many others in the South and West of 
England, he finds himself at Wells, with his 
old friend Church, now Canon of Wells, and 
shortly afterwards he writes in Greek from 
Hack wood : 


Novbr. 2, 1857. 

5rt crag orlAAa* raurrjv rr/v CTrioroAi^v, 

cif AovStvov avpiov ; r$)] typa^a irpbg va 
v fJ.ov, KOL rov tfyavipoaa 5rt r/foAov Trrj-yatva va ycvjuart^a) 
'avrov, sav auroc [ ffitXa -y/oa^/tt ort elvai tig TO a<nr\Tr\6v 
, aAAa, orav Stv jti^ ^rlAAfi TtVorce, Svvarov Kai KaXbv 
flvai va yVfJ.ari^wfJi^v 6/uov. 'O 6 

Letters of Edward Lear 

6 Kvpiog PiKKupSv^ Mfl-e^eXX SAet em <re 7rl/*7ra> 


Which is to say, if the Beadons aint at home, what 
time shall you be where & when & which ? If I get 
no note from them I will call on you at any hour you 
will name in a note sent to 16 Upper Seymour St. 
or be at the Blue Posts &c. 

1 Merely saying to his " beloved friend Fortescue " that he 
has already written to another friend to propose himself to dine 
with him, but if he does not do so he will dine with F. He 
ends up with " O mighty Krites, Richard son of Cyrus wishes 
me to send you greeting." Lear's Greek is " atrocious," so 
scholars I have consulted have told me. But with so exact a 
man, so minute in detail and with such a perfect ear, as Ruskin 
said, for versification, I cannot help thinking that perhaps a 
part of what seems to the outsider hopelessly incorrect may 
have been intentional, and that there was " a method " of his 
own in his madness. In English he joked and, as it were, 
executed acrobatic somersaults of imagination to the wildest 
degree in that language, and it is possible he may have 
attempted the same thing in Greek, a sample of which may 
be seen in his translation of " Oly mountain," the wrong 
turn of the apostrophe, being, I feel sure, made intentionally. 

It has been thought best to give the Greek sentences in 
words as near the original as possible, but this is difficult, as 
Lear always turned his Greek I's upside down besides giving 
a double-lined comet-like tail to them, and ornamented with 
wonderful flourishes and additions many other letters. Besides, 
he was, it must be remembered, learning ancient and modern 
Greek at the same time, and who knows what combinations 
he may have effected consistent to his own mind if to no 
other ? Therefore I ask leniency on the part of readers 
understanding Greek, both as to orthography and translation. 

I would also add in this note that Lear loved to " frisk and to 
gambol " in spelling as in all else, and the results in the following 
letters have been most carefully preserved by both editor and 
publisher, and in no case are misinterpretations or misprints. 



November, 1857, to March, 1858 


SETTING out for Corfu again on the 2Oth 
of November, he writes : 

Lear to Fortescue. 


20 Nov. 1857. 

I got your last letter at Hastings, together with an 
extremely nice one from Chi : Many thanks, & also 
for the extracts from dear old Mrs. Ruxton's letter. 
Do not forget to thank her from me, & also the Chi. 
for his letter. 

All the ill luck and bad omens possible seemed to 
conspire to prevent my starting, ist the ticket master 
at Lewes gave me a wrong ticket, (on my way to 
Bournemouth,) so I was hauled up at Brighton, & 
nearly missed the Portsmouth train : but I didn't. 
2nd. We ran into a semishunted goods train at Botley, 
& squashed our carriages. Happily we were not 


Letters of Edward Lear 

going fast. Meanwhile my back was very badly 
jarred, & I was unable to walk without great pain. 
Laying up next day at good Mrs. Empson's bettered 
me & tho' still very lame, I am now getting over the 
wrench. At first I thought I could not have started 
at all. . . . 

To-day at noon I am going to start by the 
stereopyptic sophisticle steamer & so on to Paris 
the weather being miscelaynious & calm, thanks be 
to Moses. 

I am glad to know you are working hard : the 
more you conquer the details & grammar of the 
" whole duty " of the Colonies, the better for you. 
Know every detail of every kind in all the colonies 
if you can, & the character &c. of everybody em- 
ployed. For, whenever (if ever) the time should 
come that you may put into practise theories of a 
wider & grander kind than fill the noddles of many 
men, then you will feel the advantage of being up to 
the full use of the instruments & circumstances you 
have to work with & by to shift, control, or forbid, 
as fate may turn up. I quite understand your dinner 
at the Chiefs : he is a good easy man used to public 
life : voila tout. 1 

Of you, I heard a grumpy man say a few days 
back, to my great pleasure, " That F. used to be the 
veriest idler, & would have turned out good for 
nothing in spite of his head if he hadn't begun to 
work but now he does, I can see, besides being told 

1 Labouchere. 


so." I hope to be in Corfu by the first week in 


Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU, December 6. 1857. 

I cannot persuade myself to do anything for more 
than i o minutes. Painting, drawing, looking at sketches, 
reading all kinds of books, German or Greek exercises, 
sitting still, or walking about, not a possibility of 
application can I make or discover. But for all that I 
shall try to get a letter done for you, because I shan't 
be able to get on at all unless you write, & I know I 
can't hear till I write first. So here goes, for a 
fortnight's journal. The knock-shock-sprain which I 
got in that Southampton train bothered me a good 
deal as I left England, & it is by no means clear 
away yet, but I got off hook or by crook on the 2Oth, 
& had a neasy passage over to Boulogne, none the 
less so that there was Lady Somers to talk to & 
look at : she is certainly the handsomest living woman. 
It seems that she, S, & Coutts Lindsay really landed 
at Athos, & lived there 2 months ! in tents, various 
mucilaginous monx coming now & then to see them. 
A few more such visits would bust, or go far to bust, 
the Greek monasticism, I think. 

Well, I didn't stay in Paris, except that night, & 
got on to Strasbourg on the 2ist, sleeping there, and 
going on to Heidelberg on Sunday morning. The 
rest of the day I passed with the Bunsens, 1 who live 

1 Baron and Baroness de Bunsen. He had been German 
Ambassador in London 1841-54. She was the eldest daughter 
of Benjamin Waddington, of Hanover. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

in a house opposite the castle : I thought that evening 
very pleasant and quiet, talk & music & domesticity, 
which you know are in my way. Next afternoon, 
23rd, I got to Frankfort & cut away all night long, 
sustaining myself by a big bag of books, which I 
read by lamplight till day break. Have you read C. 
Bronte ? It is very curious & interesting. The morn- 
ing & middle of Tuesday 24th, I passed at Dresden, 
certainly the prettiest city I ever saw, but how cold it 
was ! Allowing time to dine, I got on to Prague by 
night, & without stopping, to Vienna early on the 
25th. Undoubtedly the railroads in Germany are 
most delightful, when compared with ours ; neverthe- 
less long continuance of railway travel plays the deuce 
with my irritable mind & body. I found out the 
hearty good Morier soon, & saw a good deal of him 
that day & the next. We got on very simultaneously, 
(none the less so because he speaks of you in a way 
that pleases me,) & had long talks on various 
subjects. Robert Morier l seems to me a man who 
thinks about his business or profession, & I imagine 
he would be one to get on, if want of talent and want 
of principle were not a sure pass to prosperity. We 
talked too of Tennyson, Pattledom, Strawberry Hill, 
& all kinds of things ; nor was a ve*y good dinner 
and wine an item of my visit to be left unnotified. 

1 At this time unpaid attache at Vienna. He fulfilled Lear's 
prophecy, and had a long and useful diplomatic career. In 
1884 he became ambassador at St. Petersburg till his death in 



Early on Friday 27th I was off to the Rail again, & 
certes no scenery can be more striking, beautiful, won- 
derful than that of the R.way between Vienna and 
Trieste. But I wasn't sorry to be at my journey's end, 
nor the next day, to embark in the "Jupiter" for Corfu. 
The first part of the voyage was Hell : that is a 
mild expression for the torture I suffered, but I can't 
find any stronger at present : the second part was 
better, and anyhow the whole was short, for we were 
at Corfu by 8 on Monday 3Oth. And as my man 
Giorgio came down to meet me, and as my boxes 
went straight to my rooms, which I found all arranged 
just as I left them, & as I had only to unpack my 
things, you can't tell how absolutely ridiculous the 
effect of the whole common placidness of matters was 
& is to me. Moreover, Lushington came & asked 
me to dine that day, & Sir James Reid the next, & 
the 46th mess for the next, & the Youngs for the 
next, & as in all these cases, plates, food, conversation, 
& persons were precisely the same as they all were 
6 months ago, the ludicrous sentiment of standstill & 
stagnation was truly wonderful. Wonderful at first, 
but gnawing & shocking to me now. My dear 
Chichester, I do not know how I shall bear it, being 
an ass : & if you don't write, & if others don't 
write, I really can't tell what I shall do. 

Just figure to yourself the conditions of a place 
where you never have any breadth or extent of 
intellectual society, & yet cannot have any peace or 
quiet : Suppose yourself living in Piccadilly, we will 

65 F 

Letters of Edward Lear 

say, taking a place with a long surface, from Coventry 
St. to Knightsbridge say. And suppose that line 
your constant & only egress & ingress to & from the 
country, and that by little & little you come to know 
all & every of the persons in all the houses, & meet 
them always and everywhere, & were thought a brute 
& queer if you didn't know everybody more or less ! 
(Vouldn't you wish everyone of them, except a few, 
at the bottom of the sea ? Then you live in a house, 
one of the best here it is true, where you hear every- 
thing from top to bottom : a piano on each side, above 
and below, maddens you : and you can neither study 
nor think, nor even swear properly by reason of the 
proximity of the neighbours. I assure you a more 
rotten, dead, stupid place than this existeth not. 

All this you would understand as coming from me, 
but others would speak differently of the place. Lady 
Young for instance calls it Paradise. No drawbacks 
annoy her at home, and between horses, & carriages, & 
yachts, she is away from it as she pleases. The Reids 
do not dislike Corfu as they would, had they not a 
nice family, and themselves to care about. The 
Cortazzi are gone, almost all the military offices are 
full of new people. My drawing companion Edward I 
is gone, & I miss him terribly. I vow I never felt 
more shockingly alone than the two or three evenings 
I have staid in. 

Yet all this must be conquered if fighting can do it. 
Yet at times, I have thought of, I hardly know what. 

1 I cannot trace this companion of the former visit. 


The constant walking and noise overhead prevents my 
application to any sort of work, & it is only from 6 to 
8 in the morning that I can attend really to anything : 
Then 6 ytpog mSao-KaXoe fjiov tpxtTai, KO.I joyaojii$a 6/iov 
etc ri]v iraXaiav 'EAAevtKvjv yXwaaav. 1 I am beginning 

bits of Plutarch and of Lucian dialogues. And 
then, if I can't sleep, my whole system seems 
to turn into pins, cayenne-pepper, & vinegar & 
I suffer hideously. You see I have no means of 
carrying off my irritation : others have horses, or 
boats, in short : I have only walking, and that 
is beginning to be impossible alone. I could 
not go to church to-day. I felt I should make 
faces at everybody, so I read some Greek of St. 
John, wishing for you to read it with some of 
Robinson's Palestine, some Jane Eyre, some Burton's 
Mecca, some Friends in Council, some Shakespeare, 
some Vingt ans apres, some Leakes Topography, some 
Rabelais, some Tennyson, some Gardiner Wilkinson, 
some Grote, some Ruskin & all in half an hour 
O ! doesn't " he take it out of me " in a raging worry ? 
Just this moment I think I must have a piano : that 
may do me good. But then I remember Miss Hendon 
over my head has one, & plays jocular jigs continually. 
Then what the devil can I do ? Buy a baboon & a 
parrot & let them rush about the room? AEV loy><u 
I still hold to going to Palestine if possible. 

1 My old master comes and we work together upon the 
ancient Greek language. 

2 Perhaps I shall discover something. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

If I could but get myself comfortable and untwisted by 
the noise & general discomfort of these houses, I 
think I could bring myself right yet, but I cannot tell. 
Sometimes I think I must begin another big picture, 
as I want something to gnash & grind my teeth on. 
If Helena Cortazzi had been here, it would have been 
useless to think of avoiding asking her to marry me, 
even had I never so little trust in the wisdom of such 
a step. 

That's enough of me, I think for this once. If you 
don't write a lot about yourself you are a spider & 
no Christian. Meanwhile things here are not as, by 
all I was led to suppose, they were represented to you 
as being. . . . 

There is one thing here which cannot be grumbled 
at : at present at least. The weather, it has been 
simply cloudless glory, for 7 long days & nights. 
Anything like the splendour of olive-grove & orange- 
garden, the blue of sky & ivory of church & chapel, the 
violet of mountain, rising from peacockwing-hued sea, 
& tipped with lines of silver snow, can hardly be 
imagined. I wish to goodness gracious grasshoppers 
you were here. I believe the cussed people above 
stairs have goats or ox feet, they make such a deed 
row. Among the chilly mocky absurdities, opposite 
me on Friday, as I dined at the Palace, sat Lord 
Clermont's first cousin, L. J. E. Kozziris : l neither 

1 His mother was a daughter of the second Earl of Clancarty, 
a cousin of the Fortescues, who in 1843 married Signer 
Giovanni Kozziris. 



Greek, Irish, nor English. As for Lady Y. she looks 
handsomer and younger than ever. Lord & Lady 
Headfort l are expected daily. How comes it Lord 
Strangford 2 is dead? 

Dec. 2jth, 1857. 

I am glad to hear of your riding: I wish to 
heaven I could, or purchase a Gizzard. Tell me 
something of the general aspect of things at Red 
House, including the curly brown dog & the two 
milkophagous calves who abode in the square field. 
I had met Norman Macdonald 3 at Lord Cannings 
sometimes. Lady Duller 4 his sister, the generals 
wife here, has collapsed into nonreception along of 
his demise. 

The uppermostest subject in my feeble mind just 
now is my Palestine visit. I read immensely on the 
matter, and am beginning to believe myself a Jew, so 
exactly do I know the place from Robinson, De 
Sanley, Lynch, Beaumont, Bartlett, & the old writers 
from the Bourdeaux Pilgrim to Maundsell, not to 

1 The second Marquis. 

* The seventh Viscount. He had been Under Secretary of 
State for Foreign Affairs in 1846. He had some reputation as a 
political journalist, but was better known in his early career for 
his connection with the " Young England " party. 

3 He was Controller of the Lord Chamberlain's Department. 
He was seized with apoplexy while talking with Lady Ely at 
Lady Elizabeth Hope Vere's, and died quite suddenly at St. 
James's Palace on the ist of December. 

* Wife of Sir George Buller, G.C.B., who after serving in the 
Crimean War and the first and second Kaffir Wars, was now 
commanding a division in the Ionian Isles. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

speak of Stanley, & Josephus, whose works I can now, 
thank goodness, read in their natural garb. Now my 
particular idea at the present hour is to paint Lady 
Waldegraves 2nd picture from Masada l whither I 
intend to go on purpose to make correct drawings, 
though, whether I shall get up without breaking my 
neck is a doubt. In that case Lady W. cannot have 
my painting. My reason for this choice is, that not 
only I know the fortress of Masada to be a wonder of 
picturesqueness, but that I consider it as embodying 
one of the extremest developments of the Hebrew 
character, i.e. constancy of purpose, & immense 
patriotism. This subject I believe will as it were 
" match " Jerusalem well. 

At present I think my view for Lady W. will either 
be from Scopus, or from the glen coming up from 
S. Saba. I shall like to show her all the drawings 
of this place which I wish I could see her now 
walking past, or into this room, with the browny- 
lilac velvet many banded dress, and a nosegay in her 
hand. You are certainly right in thinking most 
women are like Copses after her : only Lady Y. here 
is not copse-like being highly vivacious : but she 
lacketh other of my Lady's qualities which one would 
fain see, hear, & be sensible of. Why the deuce I 
compare them I don't know, only Lady Y. is the only 
lively creature here. They have been very good- 
natured since I came, but I never go to the evening 

1 Now in the possession of the Hon. Mrs. Stanley, of Quantock 


parties, rising as I do, at a little after 5, I cannot bring 
myself to dress & go out to parties wholly without 
interest, at 10. 

They asked me on the i5th to meet Lord S. de 
Redcliffe I at a luncheon. He is a remarkable old 
gentleman, & I was surprised to see him so unbroken 
& with his eagle eye still so clear. I sat next to Lady 
Y. at table, and Lord S. shook hands with me across, 
and was otherwise exceedingly amiable nothing can 
be more regal and sostenuto than his manners, and 
one can only believe in his temper by observation of 
his brow and eye. Old Lady Valsamachi (Mrs. 
Heber 2 ) rushed in where angels fear to tread & 
came unasked to the Palace, with the ancient bore, 
her Greek husband ; but Lord S. was I remarked 
particularly kind and affable. Just as he went off in 
the steamer there was an Earthquake, big enough to 
send people out of their houses & the bells ringing, 
but whether the coincidental concussion was caused 
by, or for, Lord S. de Redcliffe, I leave you as a more 
educated man than myself, to determine. 

Since that day I have not been to the Palace, not 
even to see the live Marquis & Marchioness of Head- 
fort^ who with Miss Erskine, Lady H's reputed 

1 See note, p. n. 3 Widow of the Bishop of Calcutta. 

3 Lady Headfort was Lady McNaughten, widow of Sir 
William Hay McNaughten, Bart., of the Bengal Civil Service. 
Assassinated at Cabul, Dec. 25, 1841. 

+ Afterwards knighted. Had been private secretary to the 
Earl of Derby in 1852. He was at this time British Resident at 


Letters of Edward Lear 

heiress, & Col. Talbot* on his way to his Island 
Kephalonia, arrived a week ago. Lord H. is described 
to me as a well got up blase" old boy ; milady not 
to be perceived clearly, along of Indian shawls and 
diamonds, of which jewels and of her concealment 
of them, during a flight from some Afghan place 
when she was Lady Me. N., wonderful tales are about. 
The weather has been utterly wonderful, this the 
28th day since I came, being the first with a single 
cloud in it ! Nor has there been the least wind, or 
temporal annoyance of any kind, but always a lovely 
blue & golden sphere about all earth sky & sea. 
How different from the 2 preceding years this ! And 
the Olives are one bending mass of fruit. I have 
however walked but little. I grow weary of the 3 
dull miles out & 3 back in order to reach any 
scenery. And although J. has walked with me at 
times, yet it is a weary silent work, & now that he 
has got a dog, one cannot help feeling how far more 
agreeable it is to him to walk with that domestic 
object, to whom he has not the bore of being obliged 
to speak. We are on perfect good terms, but all or 
anything might happen to either, & neither would 
dream of telling the other, a state of things I do not 
call friendship. But on this and such a matter I 
dwell as little as possible. I have to live alone & 
do so though ungracefully : (Whereas you who are 
pretty well alone as to the possibility of others sym- 
pathyzing with you in your principal interests, manage 
to do so remarkably well). So I stay at home, and 


From a photograph taken about ifyj or 1854. 

To/ace pae 72 


oppose the morbids. I can tell you that I miss Helena 
Cortazzi though a few now & then. The Reids 
are good and friendly people, but of them even I see 
little. Campbell of the 46th (Simeon's cousin) is a 
really nice fellow, but all these people are mad 
after snipes & woodcox now, & abjure all intellect 
& repose. Edward my last years . companion I miss 
abominably. Bunsen I as I said is a good little chap, 
clever, but talks like 50 thousand millions of tongues. 

CORFU. Jan. 3. 1858. 

mi i ! how cold it is ! The weather hasn't changed 
after all, & I believe don't mean to. It's as bright 
and cold & icicular as possible, and elicits the ordibble 
murmurs of the cantankerous Corcyreans. As for the 
English they like the cold generally, I don't : Not- 
withstanding which, I must own to being in absolously 
better health than for I don't know how long past. 
Yesterday I went up a mounting & made a sketch, 
KajU fiiav coy/oa0tav. 2 A majestic abundance of tym- 
panum-torturing turkeys are now met with on all the 
roads, coming into Corfu to be eaten. These birds 
are of a highly irascible disposition, and I never 
knew before 2 days ago, that they objected to being 
whistled to. But Col. Campbell informed me of the 
fact, and proved it to me, since when it is one of my 
peculiar happinesses to whistle to all the Turkeys I 
meet or see, they get into such a damnable rage I can 

1 Theodore Bunsen, son of Baron and Baroness de Bunsen. 
* He wrought a painting. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

hardly stand for laughing. After all, suppose a swell 
party in London, say at Cambridge House, if any one 
person began to whistle furiously at all the rest, 
wouldn't they get into a rage I should like to know ? 

On the first of the year I was wishing you and 
others a happy (new) one and many such, when lo! your 
letter from Holyhead of the 22nd came, to my great 
pleasure. I am so glad you will have been able to 
pass your Christmas at Redhouse. Stay, let me look 
over the epistle, & reply a ? ra biroia x want comments. 
It is (pronounced strongly izz) a satisfaction to talk 
with you, & both doing so & receiving your letters 
does me a great deal of good. 

In re Bunsen the telegraphic small Bunsen here, 
talks as I never nevernever heard anyone talk : 
he makes you long to scream. 

I wish I had studded with you at Dresden. 2 I quite 
feel how that life and your present one seem like 
that of two persons, from having seen you in Ireland 
I now can understand all your life pretty well : the 
more analysis one brings to what one is interested 
in, the more one not only understands but gains by 
the process, secondo ame. 

'O Moi|0te, 6 TTU^UC K>) KaAoe.3 

Reflections on daily life, etc. : what you say to me 
is exactly true, but infernally difficult to follow out, 
i.e. "That the freedom of the inner man consists in 

1 Upon whatever matter. 

2 Fortescue lived in Dresden for four months of the winter 
of 1846 to learn German. 

3 O Morier, big and beautiful. 



obedience." Doubtless whenever the time comes 
that a man so willingly practises obedience as to 
find no annoyance from the process, he does so with 
a good will, & therefore a choice, & that is freedom. 
For my own part at present I find stuffing every 

a? ^ 
moment with work the sole panace against more 


thought than is good for one. I only wish there 
were 28 hours in every day. 

I do not, sir, read the Testament now much 
leastways in Greek : though I could do so with 
pleasure. But would you believe it, I have read the 
death of Socrates & Plato. I was so struck by 
3>aiov that I rose at night and worked till I made 
out the last part of it entirely. How is it that the 
thoughts of this wonderful man are kept darkly away 
from the youths of the age? (except they go to the 
universities, & then only as matters of language or 
scarcely more) because Socrates was a "Pagan"? 
I shall have more to say, & think about, concerning 
Socrates, whose opinion on death I now read for 
the first time, & there is no harm in wishing that 
we two may some day read Plato together ; we both 
have much similar tendency to an analytical state of 
mind I think. Intanto, my old StSomcaXoe l persists in 
keeping me in nXourajoxoc, & also in Lucian's dialogues, 
& won't hear of Plato. The former, Plutarch, I hate 
Lucian delights me as so very absurd and new. 

1 Master. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Dining at the Palace 3 days ago, I sat next to 
Sir J. after dinner & he talked to me a good deal. 
(His way of talking of you moreover is agreable to 
me.) His appreciation of Greek character is all the 
more near the right one, inasmuch as he is longer 
here : but as you say in your last, the firm hand is 
wanted here, & I add is wanting. 

I stop my letter to add what I cannot yet quite 
realize, but what grieves me most extremely. 
Lushington writes in a note that Mrs. Cortazzi has 
just died at Paris. We heard she was ill but not 

Poor Helena, & Madeline ! what will become of 
those poor girls ? 

4th. I can't add much more to this, my dear 
boy. In so small a place as this one is more 
dependent than I had fancied on the few one sees 
and at all cares for. The absence of the Cortazzi was 
a blank in itself, but now to know, that poor Mrs. C. 
died before she saw her English friends ! (She was a 
Lancashire Hornby, and first cousin of William 
Hornby who married Sir Philip's daughter,) and 
without seeing her only son, is sad enough. Besides 
that, I became interested enough about Helena to 
feel for her extremely. As yet we know no par- 

Here are 10 woodcox, what can I do with them 

I must leave off, I feel like 5 nutmeg-graters full of 
baked eggshells so dry & cold & miserable. 



CORFU, loth. January, 1858. 

I shall begin a letter & let it burn up gradivally 
like the gun-powder which they throw on the fire. I 
have been working tooth & nail at Lord Clermont's 
Athos, & am succeeding in making it the best I have 
done of that 'oly mounting. In the foregroung there 
is a Nilex tree, which I take no end of pains about, 
and the little woody dell will I think be a pet bit of 
the picture with Lord C. It is doubtless, though still 
to have much added, a better picture than the one I 
did at Redhouse, but I can't help that. The other 2, 
Mrs. Empson's Athos and Corfu, are also less good, 
which I am sorry for, but I can't help either, for 
naturally every successive piece of work should be 
better than its foregoer. 

And I am doing the bilious memories of StvoQw 
concerning Socrates, by which I am immensely 
interested. Life goes on here very dummily, : I 
feel however, the want of forcing myself to under- 
take some work of a tougher, or more difficult 
gnashmyteethupon nature. At the Palace I have 
been once or twice to dinner ; for to the Evening 
Balls I can't & won't go. Lady Y. is always cer- 
tainly very kind in inviting one, a brute. Lady 
Headfort comes out each time in new & astound- 
ing jewels. We get on very well, having endless 
topics of mutuality-talk, from Rosstrevor & Lady 
Drogheda, to "Virginia Pattle," or Afghanistan. 
They "the court" (I suppose Sir John also) are 
all off to Athens in a fortnight or so. Lady Y. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

characteristically observing " I have always wanted 
to see the Ball room at the Palace, and there are 
to be some fine fetes." My ! won't Queen Amelia 
be down on them ! for Sir John's profundities are 
pretty well known there. 

I am reminded that I told you quite wrongly some- 
thing of the state of feeling here as developed in 
representation, nearly all the members of this Island 
are anti-English, the contrary is the case with Cepha- 
lonia. Yet in the main perhaps I was right, as to 
the greater general dislike to us in the latter place. 
Neither was I correct about the Italian or Roman 
Catholic element : The Greek screw has been 
allowed to be put on so much more strongly, with 
each successive Govt., that every other consideration 
is giving way to a settled desire to join Greece, & 
get rid of English. 

After these ozbervations, which are more temperate 
and less triumphiliginous, than those I last wrote, I 
shall proceed to state that Shakespear is come, by 
which assertion I do not mean the author of "As 
you like it," " Hamlet," or other popular drammers, 
but the Major of that name of the Royal Artillery, 
who used to live over me, & whose wife is one of 
the very nicest, even if not the nicest woman here. 
They are gone to live in the Citadel, next door to 
the General. The General objects to the odour of 
cooking generally & of onions particularly. Lady 
Buller has not expressed any opinion on the subject 
so far as is publicly known : the matter rests in 



a state of oblique & tenacious obscurity for the 

Last night I, the Shakespear's, & Wyndham, dined 
with the honourable Edward & Arabella Gage, 1 very 
good people. We of this Terrace & this part of the 
town chaff the Shakespears, who now live so far off, 
and we ask them to "set us down" on their way to 
" Wimbledon." It is but right you should know the 
important life concerns of the Island, and therefore I 
shall not hesitate to insert the following facts before 
I conclude this morning's scribble. Madam Vitalis, 
the Greek consul's wife has purchased a large red 
maccaw. Mrs. Macfarlane's female domestic has 
fallen down stairs, by which precipitate act Mrs. M's 
baby has been killed. Sir Gorgeous Figginson 
Blowing has had an attack of fever. Colonel 
Campbell (first cousin of Sir J. Simeon,) dined 
with Mr. Lear the Artist on Thursday. On Friday 
that accomplished person entertained Mr. Bunsen & 
Mr. Justice Lushington. Capt. R. has purchased a 
Cornopeon, & practises on it, (Mrs. G. invariably 
calls it a cornicopean.) but it is not heard generally, 
on account of the superior row made by Mrs. Vitalis' 
maccaw, Capt. P's howling dogs, & about 400 turkeys 
who live at ease about the terrace and adopt a remark- 
able gobble at certain periods. Lady H[eadfort] has 
astonished the multitude by a pink satin dress stuffed 
with pearls. Bye the bye I heard rather a good thing 

1 Brother of Viscount Gage and a Colonel in the Royal Horse 
Artillery. Married to a cousin, Miss Arabella Gage. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

yesterday, Lady H. (with an aide de camp,) has been 
"doing" the sights of Corfu, & among others the 
churches. At the Greek Cathedral a beggar came 
and importuned the glittering Marchioness, who at 
the moment was indulging in the natural & pleasant 
act of sucking an orange. Lady H. after a time 
paused & said or implied "silver & gold have I 
none," but such as she had, (being the half sucked 
orange,) she politely gave the beggar-woman, who 
(oranges being any number for a half-penny,) threw 
the fruit in her Ladyship's face, and rushed frantically 
out of the desecrated edifice. 

Jany. \%th. 1858. Hooray! Here's a letter from 
you dated Jany. 6th. What a good boy it is! I 
shall post this to-morrow therefore. The day is so 
cold that I can hardly hold my pen, & feel that all 
or more than all the population of Corfu will expire, 
or become icicles. No such cold was ever known 
here, a keen east wind, the first I have ever felt in 
the Island. Snow on Salvador : and a great deal 
of sad illness among the natives. Of course the 
Anglo-saxons rather like the freezing than no, I 
don't, & yet am well because the air is so pure I 
suppose. Mr. George Cockles, my Suliote, refuses 
to write his copy. noToc finiropii va yptyy, Ktpie, etc 
rowro TO Kpvov. 1 But until yesterday we have had 
wonderfully lovely weather & never yet any rain 
to speak of, sun nearly ever. To-day, however, all 
is gray and ugly. With your letter came a letter 

1 How did you travel or paint in this cold weather ? 


from sister Ann, who was 67 yesterday, I am sorry 
to say. 

While I think of it here are two anecdotes, this 
time from the Citadel. Colonel Campbell has a 
celebrated horse, a stallion, called " Billy." I hate 
the sight of him myself, in as much as he bites and 
kicks whoever he can. The other day being loose, 
and seeing a helpless horse in a cart, he pounced on 
him and began to oppress him horribly, the two 
making any amount of row. This happened oppo- 
site Lady Buller's window, whereon the lady being 
of a tender-heart and a decided manner, opened the 
window & called out, Sentinel ! (Sentinel shouldered 
& presented arms) " Shoot the horse directly," 
(Sentinel looks horribly bewildered but does nothing) 
" Why don't you shoot it " ! (S) " Lord Madam ! its 
Billy!" Lady B. "What's Billy? what do I care 
for Billy? shoot it I say." (Billy all the time 
tearing & biting the prostrate victim horse.) Sen- 
tinel " Can't nohow madam my lady, cause its the 
Colonel's Billy." Here the General Sir J. came up 
& tranquillized the agitated nerves, of lady, sentinel, 
& both horses. 

Another anecdote is that Sir Henry Holland l 
being here, & dining at the General's : Lady B. 
said promiscuously, " Sir Henry in all your travels 
were you ever in Albania?" Can't you fancy Sir 

1 Physician to William IV., Queen Victoria, and Prince 
Albert. Author of " Travels in the Ionian Islands, Albania, 
Thessaly, Macedonia," 1815. 

81 G 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Henry's smile & quiet: "Why, Lady Duller, I 
wrote a book on Albania, because I happened to be 
there as Physician to AH Pasha in 1812 & 1813." 

I think there are no more anecdotes, but, (as 
Ollendorf may say) there is much ice & innumerable 
woodcox. They say old Nassau Senior I is coming 
to Athens, also General Fox 2 is reported to be at 
hand. All last week my At&uvaAoc has not been to 
me his only child being about, I fear, to die : he has 
lost 4 before, poor man. So I shall poke on alone 
in Plato & E&voQwvS & wish you were here to help 
me. To-day all the Palace folk were to come, but 
Lady Y. is unwell, & could not. I dine there 
to-night, if I don't die of the cold first. Patrick 
Talbot is here, whom I like. As yet I do not 
hear anything certain about Jaffa & the rotten 
Arribs : but I shall do so before long. We, 
intanto, abound in turkeys this year, the whole 
country is black with them, and a sound of gobbling 
pervades the Corcyrean air. 

My friend Miss Dennett must have had a sad shock 
by Lord Spencer's sudden death.4 Everyone should 

1 Author of u Journals Kept in France and Italy from 1848 to 
1852," "Conversations with M. Thiers, Guizot, and other Distin- 
guished Persons during the Second Empire," &c., &c. 

2 A natural son of the third Lord Holland. Had the finest 
private collection of Greek coins in the world, purchased by the 
Royal Museum at Berlin, 1873. 3 Xenophon. 

* The fourth Earl. Fought at Navarino, 1827 ; afterwards 
Vice-Admiral on the reserve list. Steward of Her Majesty's 
Household, 1854-57, & c -> & c - 



know that so high was his esteem for Miss D. (who 
brought up his two daughters, and was much with 
Lady S. at last) that he settled an income of ^200 
per annum on her for life. Let me look over your 
letter & see if anything wants replying to. I was 
enormously delighted with it, because being morbid, 
I fancied I might have written too violently in my 
last but one. (I remember calling Mr. Labouchere 
a muff a dummy &c.,) but one gets angry sometimes. 
The fortifications go on, and the blasted bartizan 
before my windows will improve the landscape by 
being blown up. You are very kind to have 
thought & written to Lady W. as you did about 
me. I assure you, your active and living sympathy 
is of value to me here not to be expressed. Dear 
good Mr. Clark came here two days ago, seeing I 
have not been at church, but he never said a word 
about it. He is really a good man spite of the 
Dogmas & Catechisms. Yesterday I went like a 
good boy and he preached a sermon from "be not 
slothful in business " etc. hardly to be surpassed. 
He might be split into fifteen Bishops. 

I can't write any more now, but will try when I 
come home from the Palace, to finish this. Mean- 
while, I must go & try & birculate my clood, by a 
rard hun on the righ hoad. 

upee hem : I've just come from the Palace, where 
the dinner was agreeable enough. I sat next Lady 
Young, & Miss Eisenbach, the Austrian Consul's 
daughter, and opposite poor Lady Emily Kozziris : 


Letters of Edward Lear 

certainly her husband is a stunner of a misery-bore. 
Then there were Col. and the pretty Mrs. Herbert, 
Miss Erskine, Miss Murray, the live Markis and 
March 83 , old Eisenbach, Capts. Furville, & Churchill 
A.D.C's. Nautical Capt. Bromley, 1 Dr. Evans, & 
the landscape painter. Certes ! Lady Y. is a singular 
woman, no end of talents of a sort, but rayther "pro- 
nonce'e." Her singing is sometimes wonderfully 
good. Old Lord Headfort persisted in supposing 
Miss Eisenbach my daughter why, I can't conceive : 
I wish she were : but I'm glad she ain't my wife. 

So I came moam & rote this. Alack my dear Sir 
John : you lack some things. They are going to 
England this year I find. 

I meant to have written a lot about the priests & 
signori, and the good peasantry, & the orange-trees, 
and sea-gulls, and geraniums, & the Ionian Ball, & 
Jerusalem Artichokes, & Colonel Paterson, & old 
Dandolo's palm-tree, & my spectacles and the East- 
wind, & Zambelli's nasty little dogs, 2 & fishermen, & 
Scarpe's cats, & whatnot, but I am too sleepy. 

CORFU. Feb. i. 1858. 

I shall send a little letter to-day, as the time draws 
nearer for going eastward, so that if possible I may 
get still one line from you before I start. 

I cannot tell you much of anything at present, & 

1 Afterwards Sir Richard Madox-Bromley, at this time 
Accountant-General of the Navy. 

- Mr. Lear detested and feared dogs and they seemed to 
dislike him. 



besides that I am full of little fussy letters & bother- 
ing's, I am so cold, as to be half-dead. No such 

o ' 

winter has ever been known here, & last night 
Lushington who dined here was glad, as was I, to 
wrap ourselves in Railway rugs as we sat on each 
side of the fire. 

While I write the post comes, & one letter contains 
a bit I will transcribe, as I know it will please you as 

it does me. " When Lady Waldegrave came to , 

I met her in a spirit of prejudice & ignorance, but I 
recovered from that while she staid & made herself 
known. She certainly is one of the most remark- 
able characters of the day, which few give her credit 
for being, at least none who know her superficially." 

Well I wish I were at Redhouse and you reading 
me the diary in the small Jam studio : or walking up 
& down the long walk with or without Chi, the per- 
spective struggling milkly enthusiastic calves afar off 
the Million 1 remotely seen in the far background. I 
shall write to you from Jerusalem. Goodbye my dear 
4oscue. Remember if I die you are to choose a book 
from my books : B. Husey-Hunt, & W. Holman 
Hunt are my executors." 2 

1 Mrs. Ruxton's companion, so called because she was " one 
in a million." 

2 The well-known artist and another intimate friend of Lear's. 
Amusing remembrances of his first meeting with Lear are told in 
Mr. Holman Hunt's Memoires. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Fortescue to Lear. 


Thursday night, 4 Feby. '58 

... I shall get Beaumont's book and " insense " 
my Lady about Masada. She has been surrounded 
by French Royalties and English Dookes etc. etc. 
What a contrast to my life here ! The brilliant 
crowd of her friends many of them very intimate 
is terrifying. I feel sometimes as if I should not 
be able to reach her through the throng or to see 
her quietly. But I must hope it will not prove 
so. ..." So runs the round of life ! " 

Lear to Fortescue. 

13 Feb. 1858 

Slowly goes on the Indian horror, (beg pardon 
the "mutiny") what is John Hamilton about? It 
does not quite seem to me that "all will be quite 
settled in a month or two," as the Times said a 
long while back. I hope I shall hear from you before 
I go, but I hardly think I can get any letter if you 
have not yet written. 

Regarding mylady, courage and quiet : if you do 
not light on bright times it seems strange : some 
day or other. Let me know always how you go on. 

Now mind, write if you can, I will write once 
more before I go. Confound the Cats ! 

Febry. 27, 1858. 

Your letter of the iQth. has just come, & is one 
of the nicest of the many you have written since I 



left England. I shall sit down and answer it at 
once, & this time I won't be hirritated if I can help 
it. I vex myself often after I send off hastily 
written letters. However, you are so very just as 
well as kind in weighing my ways and doings, that 
I am not afraid of having vexed you much. In this 
infernal hole of a place, so little novelty occurs that 
some small worry constantly friddles ones temper. 
You aint " red tape " and you can't help the state 
of things : whereby I recant my osbervations. 

I am sorry you were so beastly unwell, not but 
that a good routing may do good, and still more 
sorry about Mrs. Urquhart's child. 1 

I shall write to you from Jerusalem, & to Lady 
W. as soon as I have returned from Masada : It 
was Miss Dennett who wrote that : 2 I knew you 
would like it you do not say you have seen her, 
Lady W. since your return. Tell her I shall take 
great pains about her views, if she asks about my 
going. I think her Sunset must be from Scopus. 
(Bye the bye, I have been reading a good deal, 
my old teacher being quite knocked up, so that I 
have had but 2 months of Greek lessons out of the 
last 12. Finlay's 5 volumes of Greece are admirable. 
Try to get Gambinis pamphlet on the Jews. I have 

1 In this letter of the I9th, Fortescue says : " While in bed 
received a summons from my sister to go down to her instantly, 
she having lost her little boy." 

2 The passage with reference to Lady Waldegrave in the 
previous letter, 


Letters of Edward Lear 

just read Paul Ferrol a very nasty odious book. 
Lady Duller lent it to me. She is a very nice 
woman, I dined there two days ago for the first 
time, and was really pleased. Everyone seems to 
like her. As for Lady Y. she has been a flouncing 
off to Egina with the K[ing] of G[reece] & the 
whole Palace party are not yet returned. 

I shall long to hear from you in the Holy Land. 
Clowes I has written but does not come : & so I go 
alone, & perhaps it is better. There are but few I 
could travel with & yet keep my own thread of 
thoughts unwispy & unentangled. The journey to 
Palestine will give one really a great deal to think 
of in many ways. Sir J. Reid says I must do a 
large Jerusalem and get Sir Moses M. or Rothschild 
to buy it. Now I finish 3 Al 'iabets for children 
and so get pretty wearied at end of the week. O ! 
for a quiet passage ! And again ditto from Alexda. 
to Jaffa ! I shall leave off now, & wind up. 

The following letter refers to the overthrow 
of Lord Palmerston's Ministry in February, 
1858. The Bill to amend the Law of Con- 
spiracy, brought in by the Prime Minister 
in consequence of Orsini's attempt to 
assassinate the Emperor of the French, was 
the cause of the Government's defeat. Lord 

1 F. Clowes was a godson of Lear's, I think. He was some 
relation of the Lancashire Hornbys and in the 8th Hussars, 



Stanley became Colonial Secretary, but a 
little later was appointed Secretary of State 
for India, when Sir E. Bulwer Lytton took 
his place. 

For fescue to Lear. 


Sunday, February 28 1858 

What events have happened since I wrote last ! 
Here I am out of office no more " red tape " for 
the present. I wound up at the C.O. on Friday 
bid goodbye to Merivale and Co. and had a great 
many flattering and pleasant things said to me. 
Merivale was just going to telegraph the news to 
Malta and Corfu so that you no doubt know that 
Lord Stanley is Secretary of State for the Colonies, 
after having held out for some days against taking 
office in a Government with which he can feel very 
little agreement. He is in a false position privately 
and publickly. 

I do not take these political events to heart, but 
I am sorry for what has happened. . . . These people 
will very probably not last long, but they may survive 
upon the dissensions of their opponents If those were 
to be made up particularly the matter of Palmerston 
and Russell, they would go at once or at all events 
would dissolve and then go. . . . Palmerston has 
greatly mismanaged the French affair. I believe he 
was spoilt by success, and had become overbearing 
and rash. At the same time, substantially I think 


Letters of Edward Lear 

he's right, in endeavouring to strengthen the law of 
Conspiracy to Murder, in order to give some pro- 
tection to our ally the Emperor or at least to show 
that we would not have the " right of asylum " so 
abused, if we could help it, while maintaining the 
right for all peaceful refugees. Lord Derby, D' Israeli 
etc. had espoused the same opinion in the strongest 
way, and I think their joining with Milner Gibson to 
defeat the Government was a most inconsistent and 
dishonest party move, but they were unable to "resist 
the temptation." . . . 

I dined at Lansdowne House last night a great 
dinner ... I got next Lady W. who dined there 
in wonderful beauty and force. Then went to a small 
party at poor G. Palmerston's he looking low. 

Lear to Fortescue. 
On Pistol shooting, Liars, and other subjects, 

CORFU, March 9. 1858. 

It is particularly kind of you to have written this 
last (date Sunday 28th ) which I got yesterday. 
All your letters are so like yourself so even & 
clear & regular. I have been thinking a great deal 
about you since this break up, which I believe would 
have come somehow or other, French matter or not. 
That was the tree or steeple which drew down the 
lightening storm, but the storm was all ready to burst 
somewhere, for sometime past. I had heard enough 



of Lord P [almerston] latterly, to expect it : and his 
own altered public & private manner, the gross error 
of Lord Clanricarde's readmission and other things, 
were but forerunners of a crash ; but I wholly agree 
with you in every word you write. The combination 
is odious, & with all respect to my friend & patron, he 
is not the man to be a leader of England for any long 
period. I cannot conceive how he can like to be in 
power on such terms. For Lord Stanley I am vexed, 
for as you say he cannot really unite with those from 
whom he differs so much. Pakington * I suppose 
accepted. What sort of a man is Lord Carnarvon ? 
I believe Lord John will be in tho' perhaps not 
Premier, before 6 months are out. 

In the mean time don't you drop habits of study & 
business, but keep them up all the more. Make your- 
self master of anything Colonial. The compliments 
and pleasant things said are but what was your due, not 
only for your strict attention to routine of business, 
but for your earnest wish to do what was right, 
tho' you had not much power in your hands. Give 
my love to the late Mr. Labouchere, & say he's 
a miserable muff. Also to Mr. Merivale & say he is 
either dishonest or stupid. Thank God you so far 
as you have gone in public life are as white as a 
Jerusalem artichoke, and I believe you will always 
keep so. Tell both of them they are no better than 
they should be ! 

The Palace party are come back, they had horrid 
1 He became First Lord of the Admiralty. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

weather & an Earthquake. Corinth is totally ruined, 
not one single house habitable. People all fled. 
Vialimachi down flat on the ground. These earth- 
quakes are dreadful. Boyle, who has just come 
back from Naples, fills us with horrors! Amalfi, 
Sorrento and such lists of old lovely places, all gone ! 
down on the earth, and every inhabitant killed or 

O ! here is a bit of queerness in my life. Brought 
up by women & badly besides & ill always, I never 
had any chance of manly improvement & exercise, 
etc. and never touched firearms in all my days But 

you can't do work at the Dead Sea without them. So 
Lushington, who is always vy kind and good makes 
me take a 5-barelled revolver, & I have been prac- 
tising shooting at a mark (I can hardly write for 
laughing), & have learned all the occult nature of 



pistols. Don't grin. My progress is slow but always 
(I trust) somewhat. At 103 I may marry possibly. 
Goodbye dear 4oscue. 

Yrs. affectionately, 


I've left you all Leeke's Greece, in case of my being 
devoured by Arabs or fever. 


April to November, 1858 


ON the 1 3th of March, 1858, Lear set out 
for his long-projected visit to Jerusalem, 
accompanied by his servant, George Kokali. 
Arriving there on the 27th, he writes : 

Lear to Fortescue. 

JERUSALEM, April ist. 1858. 

DEAR 4OSCUE, During my stay here this the 
5th., day, every moment has been occupied, or rather 
fussed away : writing a long letter to my sister, & 
a short line to Lushington, walking all about the 
neighbouring hills, to understand its most pictural 
points, endless interviews with interminable Drago- 
men, besides the hourly distraction of a public Hotel 
chok full of people, & the overcrowded state of the 
streets, all this will give you some idea of the land- 
scape painters state of body & mind. 

Leaving Corfu on the i3th. or rather i4th. of 


Palestine, Corfu, and England 

March, a decent voyage brought me to Alexandria 
on the 1 7th, too late for the French Jaffa steamer 
by one day. So I passed 5 days in a trip to Cairo, 
which I greatly wish you could see some day, & 
renewing delightful impressions of the Pyramids, 
Caliph's tombs, Heliopolis, &c., &c. Returning to 
Alexandria on the 23rd, I sailed on the 25th. in the 
Austrian Jaffa steamer, in which the crowds of clean & 
dirty, high & low pilgrims was a wonder, and you may 
suppose its combinations to some extent, when I tell 
you that 20 different languages were spoken on 
board. Most happily the voyage was fine, or I can't 
tell you what we must have suffered. 

At Jaffa we arrived on the 26th. at noon, but 
owing to the immense crowd of Eastern pilgrims, the 
landing & getting under way were most difficult 
matters, & had it not been for Arthur Stanley's 
Dragoman, I do not know how I could have got on. 
By 3, p.m. we were off, loaded & mounted for 
Ramleh, where we slept, or rather stopped that night. 
The way thither is through one almighty green lovely 
corn-field, perfectly delicious at every time of day, and 
not at all unlike many parts of the Roman Campagna ; 
though more resembling the southern plains of Sicily, 
particularly in the long unbroken line of blue-lilac 
hills, poetically the " frowning mountains of Judah," 
though I could not see any justice in the term so 
applied to them. From Ramleh the same cheery 
plain of corn extends to the foot of these hills, & you 
then ascend through shrubby & stony & olive planted 


Letters of Edward Lear 

passes, up & down, (though always upper not downer) 
till about the 8th hour after leaving the aforesaid 
Ramleh, you find yourself toiling up a steep & bare 
rocky hill-side, at the top of which an undulating 
level of rather wearisome duration brings you in sight 
of the western walls of the Holy City. 

The Holy City itself is just now in a most odious 
state of suffocation & crowding, this one week uniting 
all sorts of creeds & people in a disagreeable hodge- 
podge of curiosity & piety. Lucky it was for me to 
get even the last single room & one for my servant, 
and that day I was content to give up struggling 
through the fearfully thronged hustle-streets, & after 
a tabledhote dinner was glad to be thankful & sleep 
at Jerusalem, which I had so long wished to see. On 
Sunday 28th, service in our church was a real pleasure 
well arranged, simple & good in all respects, and the 
more to find the preacher an old friend, son of Ralph 
Barnes the Bp. of Exeter's Secy. Afterwards my 
delight in going, (on Palm Sunday too,) to the Mount 
of Olives you can imagine. But the immense beauty 
of the environs of Jerusalem you cannot nor could I 
before I saw it. Independently of the grandeur of the 
position of this wonderful place, & the claim every 
part of its walls & buildings, has on the Xtian as well 
as the observer of general history & antiquity, most of 
the vallies of Johosaphat & Himmon abound in 
beautiful quiet scenes, wholly unexpected by me as 
part & parcel of Judean Landscape : Then the 
ancient tombs cut in the rock, the innumerable flat 


Palestine, Corfu, and England 

ones, the scattered olives, (not fine as at Corfu but 
pollardy,) the constantly varying beauty of the Mount 
of Olives, the realities of Siloam, Zion &c. and the 
very ancient traditional sites of Gethsemane &c &c 
&c., keep you constantly alive to the fresh interest 
that awaits you at every step. I had not the slightest 
idea of the amount of wonder & admiration the walks 
hereabout must call up, in all thinking visitors. 

Meanwhile, I am off now to Bethlehem & Hebron 
in a few hours : too glad to get to some quiet from 
this noisy place. Thence I go by the Dead Sea to 
Sebbeh, (Masada) Engedi, Mar Saba, & Jericho, & 
possibly beyond the Jordan, returning here for a 
fortnight or 3 weeks. 1 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 

DAMASCUS, 27* h May. 1858. 

I had thought of writing to you long ago, to tell 
you what I had done by way of trying to fulfil the 
commissions you kindly gave me ; but the difficulties 
of sending anything like a letter " while I am on the 
road " in these countries, are not to be told. At least 
they are great to me, who am always unable to write 
by candle-light; and the early morning is snatched 
for moving forward, while mid-day heat & weariness 
put a veto on all labour, but that of catching & flap- 
ping away flies. And when in Hotels, (in the very 

1 A scarcity of letters at this period, will be explained by the 
following paragraph : " I have told Ann [his sister] to send you 
my letters, & you will post them to the address you will obtain." 

97 H 

Letters of Edward Lear 

few spots where such houses exist) there are so many 
things to look after and look at, & so much re- 
arrangement for the next journey, that the time for a 
real sitting down for letter writing never seems to 

. '"*<. 

come. To-day the Syrian Haj takes its departure 
for Mecca, and as there is no chance of drawing 
anywhere out of doors, along of the excitement of the 
pious Moslem mind, which finds a safety valve in 
throwing stones at Nazrani, I shall remain here and 
fill a sheet, if not two, which may reach you to amuse 
an hour or two of your leisure some fortnight 


My stay in Jerusalem or 
rather opposite the City, for 
I pitched my tents on the 
Mount of Olives when I had 
ascertained the point I thought you would like best for 
your picture, was the most complete portion of my 
tour : i.e. I was able to attend thoroughly, and to the 
best of my ability to what I was doing, in peace & 


Palestine, Corfii, and England 

quiet : whereas much of the rest of my Palestine 
journey has been toiled through under far other 

After describing at great length the reasons 
which led him to select a north-east view of 

"~~ ""~" " '"-' 

* "~ 

the city for Lady Waldegrave's picture, illus- 
trated by various little sketches reproduced 
here, he continues : 

And now what shall I say on the subject of the 
companion painting? One of the most remarkable as 
well as of the most picturesque studies, I have 

obtained, is of Sebbeh, or Masada, the history of 
which you will find in ? Translation of Josephus. 
This was one of the places I so much wished to visit 
& one which I am so pleased at having drawings of. 
It is like this somewhat, only I cannot give here what 
only detail & colour can produce. The great depth 


Letters of Edward Lear 

of the ravine below. A. is the Dead Sea : B. is the 
line of Moab mountains. This scene, as that of the 
last Jewish struggle for freedom against Rome, would 
I think be a very excellent subject in its way, but 


in case you should not like this there is Hebron, 
which is very particularly a Hewbrew antiquity, & is 
besides sufficiently picturesque to form a good picture : 
though why Abraham choose to live there I cannot 
think : I found it abominably cold & wet, & besides, 
they threw stones at me whenever I drew, so that 
I wished the whole population in Abraham's bosom or 
elsewhere 20 times a day. 

Another subject which is astonishingly grand is Petra. 
(Not that I can ever see the sketch without feeling 
my ears tingle at the memory of the filthy Arab 
savages.) Petra was the capital of the Nabathcean 


Palestine, Corfu, and England 

(or Idumcean) Kings, who reigned in Jerusalem as 
Herods, & it was one of them who built Masada. 
The magnificence of Petra is not to be told, I mean 
the magnificence of combined ruin, splendour of 

sepulchral architecture and excavated temples, united 
to the most romantic mountain or rock scenery & the 
most beautiful vegetation. 

At present the heat is getting too great to allow 
of my drawing much, & also the country is in such a 
state that many places can only be visited at the 
risk of robbery &c., even if the traveller goes over 

the ground as rapidly as possibly. So travelling, 
he may escape outrage, but with me, that mode of 
progress is useless : I must stop often and for 
a considerable time, so that it is not easy to escape 


Letters of Edward Lear 

those odious Arabs. The whole plain of Eisdrcelon 
for instance swarms with them, & they attack all 
passengers. Of known names Lord Dunglas, 1 Col. 
Cust, Sir J. Fergusson 2 & of unknown names, 
numbers have been stopped : and lately many 
Americans have been robbed & some murdered, 
which in one sense is a very good thing, since I do 
not understand that the American Govt., think 
proper to uphold the fiction of Turkish renovation, 
& instead of being compelled to pooh-pooh the 
entirely dislocated state of all order in Palestine & 
Syria, they will it is to be hoped get riled and act 
accordingly. If it were not shocking, the fate of 
one large American party near Nazareth is beyond 
belief absurd : the Arabs actually went off with 
all but one large blanket, of which Mr. & Mrs. 
T. made two garments & therein rode to the town. 
Some revenge was probably mixed up in the case, 
on the part of some Arab it is said they had 
threatened ; for they took every book & drawing, 
& paper, & even Mrs. T.'s wig & spectacles. Of 
Dr. Beattie's-3 party 10 days ago, the ill-fortune was 
as great or even greater : they were setting out 
for America, but these animals took all their treasures, 
not only clothes, but books, collections of plants &c., 

1 Eldest son of the Earl of Home. 

2 At this time Governor of Malta. 

3 Foreign Secretary to the British Archaeological Society. 
He had been Physician and Private Secretary to the Duke of 

1 02 

Palestine, Corfu, and England 

things of no use to them, but I believe taken as 
diversions for their nasty little beastly black 

Of my own mishaps at Petra you perhaps have 
heard ; how about 200 of them came down on me, 
and every-thing which could be divided they took. 
My watch they returned to me, but all money, 
handkerchiefs, knives, &c., &c., were confiscated. 
Since then my 2 muleteers, whom I sent by land 
from Jaffa to Beirut were robbed of their little all 
by the way, & one might add others. But, cui bono ! 
English people must submit to these things, because 
we have no influence in Syria or Palestine, nor in the 
East generally. I should like to hear of a French 
party being stopped or murdered ! ! The Arabs 
(& Turks) know too well that neither French nor 
Austrians can be touched with impunity. 

The time is evidently near at hand when all the 
country will be a field of dispute for Latin & Greek 
factions once more, and the most miserable Jerusalem 
once again the bone of contention. If on the one 
hand the Latin Patriarch is building a great Palace 
& Convent near Bethlehem, and the Austrians are 
raising a splendid " Hospital " (a sort of Knight 
Templars affair,) in Jerusalem itself, to be opened 
by Pius IX it is said, on the other hand the Russian 
clergy have constantly increasing influence among 
the natives, & even just now a particular delegate 
has come to the " Holy City " with important powers 
from Alexander. In the meantime, the " Protestants " 


Letters of Edward Lear 

stand alone as a mark for Hebrew, & Heathen, 
Musulman, Latin, Greek, & Armenian, to be pointed 
out by all & each as the living Pharisees of the day, 
professing a better & simpler form of Christ's religion 
than their fellow Xtians, yet scandalizing the whole 
community by their monstrous quarrels ; their Consuls 
& Bishops regarding each other with hatred, & each 
acting to each with open contempt & malignity, while 
every portion of their resident fellow religionists take 
one or the other side of the faction. And this forsooth 
at a place for example for Turks & Jews ; this at the 
very place where He whom they believe the founder 
of their faith, died ! By Heaven ! if I wished to 
prevent a Turk, Hebrew, or Heathen, from turning 
Christian I would send him straight to Jerusalem ! I 
vow I could have turned Jew myself, as one American 
has actually lately done. At least the Jews do not 
lie ; they act according to their belief : and among 
themselves they are less full of hatred & malice 
(perhaps, for bye the bye, they excommunicated 
Sir M. Montefiore in 3 synagogues because they 
said he tried to introduce Xtian modes of life,) than 
the Xtian community. But these latter, arrogating 
to themselves as they do all superiority in this & the 
next life, trample the most sacred doctrines of Christ 
below their feet daily : "I say unto you love one 
another" are words which Exeter Hall, or Dr. 
Phillpotts, 1 Calvinist, or Puseyite, Monophysite 

1 The famous Bishop of Exeter, who spent about ^25,000 in 
litigation. In 1847 he refused to institute the Rev. G. C. Gorham 


Palestine, Corfu, and England 

Armenian & Copt, or Trinitarian Greek, & Latin 
receive with shouts of ridicule & blasphemous derision. 
" Almost thou persuadest me not to be a Xtian " is 
the inner feeling of the man who goes to the " Holy 
City " unbiassed towards any " religious " faction : 
& it is at least my own deliberate opinion that while 
" the Christ that is to be," is so far, far removed 
from the Xtian priesthood and Xtians in a body as 
it is in South Palestine, while, in a word Jerusalem is 
what it is by & through Xtians dogmas & theology, 
so long must the religion of Christ be, and most 
justly, the object of deep hatred & disgust to the 
Moslem, of detestation & derision to the Jew. From 
all this mass of squabblepoison let me except the 
Americans : these alone, particularly in Northern 
Syria seem to think that Christ's doctrines are worth 
keeping thought of : as far as I can perceive, they are 
as much respected for their useful practical lives, as for 
their uniform peaceful & united disposition of 
brotherly love one towards another. 

One word about the Jews : the idea of converting 
them to Xtianity at Jerusalem is to the sober observer 
fully as absurd as that you should institute a society to 
convert all the cabbages & strawberries in Covent 
garden into pigeon-pies & Turkey carpets. I mean 
that the whole thing is a frantic delusion. Are the 

to the living of Brampford Speke. Gorham appealed to the 
Privy Council and was instituted in 1850. A fierce controversy 
arose, in the course of which Dr. Phillpotts excommunicated 
the Archbishop of Canterbury. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Jews fools that they should take up with a religion 
professing to be one of love & yet bringing forth 
bitter hatred & persecution ? Have the Jews shown 
any particular sign of forgetting their country & their 
ancestral usages, that you should fancy it easier for 
them to give up their usages in the very centre of that 
country they have been so long attached to, & for 
the memory of which they have borne such and so 
much misery? Once again the theory of Jew-con- 
version is utter boshblobberbosh nothing more nor 

With all this, and in spite of all this, there is enough 
in Jerusalem to set a man thinking for life, & I am 
deeply glad I have been there. O my nose ! O my 
eyes ! O my feet! How you all suffered in that 
vile place ! for let me tell you, physically Jerusalem 
is the foulest and odiousest place on earth. A bitter 
doleful soul-ague comes over you in its streets. 
And your memories of its interior are but horrid 
dreams of squalor & filth, clamour & uneasiness, 
hatred & malice & all uncharitableness. But the 
outside is full of melancholy glory, exquisite beauty 
& a world of past history of all ages : every point 
forcing you to think on a vastly dim receding past, 
or a time of Roman war & splendour, (for ^Elia 
Capitolium was a fine city) or a smash of Moslem 
& Crusader years, with long long dull winter of 
deep decay through centuries of misrule. The Arab 
& his sheep are alone the wanderers on the pleasant 
vallies and breezy hills round Zion : the file of slow 


Palestine, Corfii, and England 

camels all that brings to mind the commerce of Tyre 
& other bygone merchandize. 

Every path leads you to fresh thought : this takes 
you to Bethany, lovely now as it ever must have 
been : quiet, still little nook of valley scenery. There 
is Rephaim & you see the Philistines crowding over 
the green plain Down that ravine you go to Jericho : 
from that point you see the Jordan and Gilead. 
There is Anatoth, & beyond all, the track of Senna- 
cherrib Mishmash, Giba, Ephraim. There is the 
long drawn hill line of Moab. There is Herodion 

where the King-Tetrarch was buried : below it you 
see the edge of Bethlehem which he so feared. That 
high point is Neby Samuel and beyond it is Ramah. 
Close by, that single peak is Gibeah of Saul/ where 
Rizpah watched so long. (Bye the bye that is a 5th 
subject to choose from, for I went there on purpose 
to get the view : & wonderful it is. A. the Moab 
hills. B. Dead Sea. C. Jordan.) And thus, even 
from one spot of ground, you are full of thought on 
endless histories & poetries I cannot conceive 
any place on Earth like Jerusalem for astonishing 
and yet unfailing mines of interest. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

But to leave an endless subject : My stay at 
Bethlehem delighted me greatly, And I then hoped 
to have got similar drawings of all the Holy Land. 
All the country near it is lovely, and you see Ruth 
in the fields all day below those dark olives. (This 
is the 6th subject. A. the Moab hills.) Next 
to those I came to the Dead Sea, which is a 
wonder in its way, but the finest part, Ain Gidi, 
I could not draw well, by reason of more Arab 
botheration. Beyond there I saw little else of 
Southern Palestine, the plain of Jericho, but not 

the Jordan, for there again my beloved Arabs dis- 
troyed my peace. Mar (Deir) Saba, a wonderful 
monastery " all as one cut of a Cheshire cheese " as 
my man said : the plain of Sharon, & Jaffa : this 
was all. 

The last part of my journey, (for I came from 
Jaffa by sea to Beirut,) has been of a different kind. 
All the Lebanon country is safe & pleasant, & the 
Maronite Xtians are kindly & respectable critters. 
But on the other hand, there wants that indescribable 
charm, far above and beyond all local beauty & 
novelty, which the scenery of sublimer Palestine 


Palestine, Corfu, and England 

brings to the mind. The higher portions of Lebanon, 
i.e. the outer side recall Etna : & the stonier & 
more confined scenes, many a well known Cumberland 
& Westmoreland dell : The whole plain of Ccelo- 
Syria, green & lovely as it is, is but Sicilian land- 
scape, or Thessaly on a larger scale. The interior 
of Lebanon is however wonderfully fine : a kind 
of Orientalized Swiss scenery : innumerable villages 
dot the plateaus & edge the rocks which are spread on 
each side of & rise above dark ravines, winding 
winding downward to the plains of Tripoli and 
the blue sea. All these I could well have wished 
to explore and draw, & I might have gone thither, 
had I not become so very unwell from the extreme 
cold of the upper part of the mountain as to be 
obliged to return into Ccelo-Syria as soon as I could, 
having my drawing of the Cedars as a sign of my 
Lebanon visit. 

Next I saw Baalbec but I can by no means endorse 
the enthusiasm of travellers regarding these very 
grand ruins. Their immense size, their proportions, 
the inimitable labour & exquisite workmanship of 
their sculptured details; none can fail to be struck 
with, nor to delight in contemplating. But, all the 
florid ornaments of architecture, (Roman withall,) 
cannot fill up the place of simplicity, nor to me is 
it possible to see hideous forms of Saracenic walls 
around & mixed with such remains as those of 
Baalbec, without a feeling of confused dislike of the 
whole scene, so incomplete & so unimpressive. To 


Letters of Edward Lear 

my mind, the grand and positive-simple Temple of 
Paestum the lonely Segesta the Parthenon & 
Theseium, & above all, the astonishing singleness 
of the Egyptian temples are worth heaps of Baalbeks. 
Possibly also, the presence of 6 tents full of English 
travellers, of a rope-dancer from Cairo, with conse- 
quent attendant crowds, & of a village full of tiresome 
begging impical Heliopolitans had somewhat to do 
with my small love of Baalbek & its neighbourhood. 
The day's journey thence half way over Anti 
Lebanon, & the following journey down hither would 
be of great interest could more time be spent on 
the way : but though I have added little to my 
collection of drawings, the view of this city and its 
plain is almost a recompence for any trouble. Imagine 
1 6 worlds full of gardens rolled out flat, with a river 
and a glittering city in the middle, & you have 
a sort of idea of what the Damascus pianura is like. 
I really hope to get a good view of this, but I am 
sadly put out at losing two days by the vagaries of 
these horrid Musclemen, not to speak of my being 
lame from a stone thrown at me yesterday, pig ! I 
shall set off from here on Saturday the 2 9th & get to 
Beirut I hope on June ist. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU. 18. June. 1858. 

I have brought all my Judean and Coelo- Syrian 
drawings back safe, and have gained in energy 
physical and moral, by this tour into the most 


Palestine, Corfu, and England 

interesting land I have ever travelled over, besides 
filling my mind with scenes enough to last a longer 
life than mine is likely to be. 

My own plans are not for an immediate going 
away from here unless European war should break 
out, when I shall come to England at once. 
Frank L[ushington] goes in a few weeks : I need 
not say how I shall miss him : whenever I have 
thought him less friendly than I have supposed he 
should have been, I have invariably found he was 
acting rightly and uprightly & that I myself had 
misinterpreted him now and then. He is one of the 
best unions of mind & principle I have known. I 
wish you knew him : Do try & do so when he gets 
to England : there are few better worth knowing on 
every account. 

Shall all of you come in again ? For I don't 
believe the Derbyites will stand. I regret Lord 
S[tanley] ever having joined them. 

July 5th. CORFU. 1858. 

Those Jerusalem letters I never had, but I have 
written to have them sent here. Concerning that, 
as you justly call it, " ridiculous Bishopric," J I hardly 
know to whom you can apply. Holman Hunt knows 
a good deal. Have you seen a pamphlet by Dr. 
Graham ? ask for & get it. Holman Hunt can tell you 

1 The Jerusalem Bishopric was founded about 1841. Lear 
is referring to the difficulties that had arisen between the 
Consul and Bishop Gobat, head of the Mission. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

where. I don't believe you can really understand the 
whole mess except by going there & finding out what 
each party says. You are right to enquire & work. 
(Did you see a passing observation on yourself in the 
Saty. mag. (or Leader?) week before last?) Work, 
work : so that the next turn of the wheel you may be 
only one step below Merivale, not two as you were last 
ministry. (!) 

You will be sorry to hear I have had a bad eye, a 
sty, only more like an abscess : My brain is con- 
fused between cause & effect, & I don't know if my 
being a pig has produced the sty, or whether the sty 
makes me a pig. But I know I am a pig. 

I will send you such a funny book, " The Tempest," 
'H TPIKYMIA. It is extremely well translated, Caliban i 
& Ariel are delightful. Isn't this pretty. 

TO we 

jiXiu KOI XajStrE 

'g rfjv a^uoStw, 

y\vica, <r' ore XaXw. 
ytid, 7Eta, rove 

MTTOOI;, flyaov. 
yavyovv ra ^u 

Palestine, Corfu, and England 


M.TTO.OV, /3yaow. 
rov iriruv 


ra fjivarripia 

This place is wonderfully lovely. I wish you could 
see it ; if you came I could put you up beautifully, & 
feed you on Ginger-beer & claret & prawns & figs. 

A. Tennyson has written two more poems, one I 
hear is a dialogue between a gent. & lady. 

If I go to Jerusalem, I shall have to ask you a 
good deal about the matter, as I am inclined to be 
"impetuous" overmuch, & might start a periodical 
" The cursed City " as a title. 

P.S. The K. of Greece landed here 3 days ago : 
& went up to see Sir J. & Lady Y. He was received 
immensely by the Corfiotes, as you may suppose. 

About the middle of August Lear left for 
England with Lushington, who was hurrying 
back in consequence of the death of his brother 
and niece. After the usual succession of 
visits to the Husey Hunts, the J. Crosses, 
the Hornbys, and others, he settled down in 
his London lodgings to execute the numerous 
orders received. 

1 Translation of " Come unto these yellow sands, "&c. Act I. 
sc. ii. 

H3 I 

Letters of Edward Lear 



13. Sept. 1858. 

I forget what I told you of my doings : after 
Knowsley I went to Liverpool, & then to Man- 
chester where the kind Sir John Potter T took me 
in. Coming back by Derby, I saw the " Corfu " in 
its place, & I passed my Sunday at W. Nevill's 
the 7th house I have seen beadornamented by my 
own paws. 

My dear boy, I cannot go to Dudbrook. 2 My 
straight plan now, as soon as I get the pictures 
unpacked, is to WORK. I cannot work with my 
mind frittered by agreable society. A painter must 
be a painter. If you are writing to Lady W. say I 
shall write : And both you & she may be sure that 
my not going is because I want to do her Pictures 
WELL, also Lord Clermonts. 

You will be glad not to say skipping to hear that 
Holman Hunt has seen the sketches both of Masada 
& her view of Jerusalem & is thoroughly pleased with 
both. It is the funniest thing to talk over all those 
places with him. When you are coming to town 
let me know. I long to see you again. I keep in 
lodgings here, but shall paint elsewhere. At present 
I am all upside down nohow bebothered & can 

only write this much. Did I tell you y\ had 
written in all 5 new poems? 

1 The member for Manchester, and first Mayor of the City. 

2 In Essex. One of Lady Waldegrave's houses. 



Palestine, Corfu, and England 



Monday evening 

[Before Nov. i, 1858.] 

I am exceedingly annoyed that I cannot come : I 
have appointed Dr. Rimbault 1 to come & set down 
some of my songs 2 this evening & he comes all the 
way from Camden Town, & it is theyfotf night : more- 
over I have just been into town to send off poor 
sister Ann, but that would not matter if I could 
possibly otherwise manage it. 


PORTMAN - *8*/z Nov. 

Coming home at 11.30, 
from Mr. Stanley's, I find 

1* /r n , your Wusstussher noat. 

** ^=^^~r- Thank God I ain't to be 

rubbed by a beastly fiend 
with a wet sheet : 3 But I believe you will be all 
the better for it. Is Ward Braham rubbed rubbing 
rubbable or rubbabibbabubbapbimbubabebabblllleee 

1 An indefatigable composer and writer on musical subjects. 
He rescued from oblivion and published, some of the best work 
of the early English composers. 

2 Lear set many of Tennyson's poems to music and sang them, 
though he had no knowledge of music, and had only what the 
French call a " filet de voix " ; yet he rendered them with so 
much expression as to make tears start to the eyes of his hearers. 

3 Refers to a visit of Fortescue to Dr. Gully's establishment and 
cold water cure. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

also ? ! I rote to you this morning : but, how the 
debble could your letter reach me to-night ? 

At Mrs. Stanley's there was Arthur, 2 (who is grown 
much more expansive & talkative & World-like than 
of old though as good & kind as always :) Mr. 
Penrhyn 3 & Emmy ditto, always good. Mary Stanley 
of Scutari memories & twisted faith, Walrond who is 
stilty & scholastic : & one Adolphus, whose name 
savours of Dolphins. The conversation was not 
bad : mostly of Spain & Biarritz, with sparks of fun. 
Show'd all my sketches to Arthur S. & Walrus, & 
was pleased by their praise of their fiddlediddlety of 
representation. But we don't agree about the beauty 
of Palestine i I say that " there is beauty in every- 
thing " is a better principle than " look for conven- 
tional beauty, & failing that don't see any." 

Returning here, I find varicose gnoats. One from 
Mr. Morier, containing ever so much good Greek. 

aujOtov Sa IpyofJLai Trpog art irptv rate evSeca Sjpait;, va <rl 
va tow, S'aujua^wv, TO.Q Trig fIapai(TTY)viig Zwypatytag 
$oj3e/>a Sa yivwrai TO. avaicaraaJ/tiara rrjg I<ovtK>)e 
) rtrota yai$apo\tKia irorl Stv TjKOua-a." 4 He writes 

really good Romaic. 

1 Lady Waldegrave's youngest brother, who accompanied 

* Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, a close personal friend of Lear's, 
who is mentioned frequently in the letters, was the second son 
of the Bishop of Norwich. He was appointed Chaplain to the 
Prince Consort in 1854, and afterwards became Dean of West- 
minster. Mary Stanley, his sister, was in charge of fifty nurses in 
the Crimea during the war. 3 Brother-in-law of Lord Derby. 

* To-morrow I am coming to you before eleven o'clock. Yea 


Palestine, Corfu, and England 

mi ! how giddy I is ! Perhaps it is along of the 
cliff of Ain Giddi : perhaps of the glass of sherry & 
water close by only I ain't drank it yet. 

1 wen tup two the Zoological Gardings, & drew 
a lot of Vulchers : also I saw the eagles & seagles & 
beagles & squeegles : leastwise the big bears & all 
the other vegetables. 

also the little dragging, who is the Beast of the 

Miss Mackenzie is married this afternoon to Lord 
Ashburton, 34 60. 

The cold is so great that my nose is frizz so hard 
that I use it as a paper cutter. 

I have axed Lord Stanley for the Cadetship, 1 & 
have written to Lady Derby to know if she wants 
her usbing's hancester's picter. 

To-morrow I go to Holman Hunts, to city, pay 
bills, & dine at Beadons. Saturday Clowes comes 

I shall greet you and shall see with admiration your pictures of 
Palestine. Fearful indeed did the up-and-down motions of the 
Ionian Sea become, what universal longings for terra firma have 
ever come to me. 

1 Probably for a nephew or young friend. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

up : & I go to Cramers to arrange finally about the 
5 songs. Poor dear Lady Bethell writes me a sad 
note : I fear now that she is really ill. 

It is zis ted-bime, Goodnight. My love to the 
water fiend. 


Novbr. 25/58. 

Still one more line. Your's retched me here 
(spelling adaptable to circumstances,) this morning, 
on my coming over from my last visit to my old 
sister. I don't see any phun in the 2 coal'd pales of 
water on one's bak : & I think your remarx on 
Water-worx generally are far from untrue. Seriously, 
I should conceive that the necessity of constant con- 
templation of one's health can't be good for the body or 
mind, & I don't see but that you are right to cease 
the trial. 

This, I suppose will find you at L d Clarendon's : 
of whose visit to the Montalembert-scruncher, 1 I hope 
you will think well, 

And hereabouts, my bilious and skrogfrodious 
temperament screws itself up to give you a rowing for 
what your enemies call a " desultory " & " dilettante " 
tone of life. The moral of this abrupt & angular 

1 The fiery debate which took place in Parliament in March 
on the subject of Lord Canning's Indian proclamation, was the 
occasion for the issue of the Comte de Montalembert's 
celebrated pamphlet " Un Debat sur 1'Inde au Parlement 
Anglais," in which he contrasted the political freedom in 
England with the conditions prevailing in France. For this 
he was prosecuted by the French Government. 


Palestine, Corfu, and England 

preachment is that neither you nor nobody else will do 
no good if you do things by halves and squittles. 

My feeling is, Lord Stanley in political life, or 
Holman Hunt in painting are the best 2 coves to be 
imitated in 1858 : alike in this, that what either do, 
they do thoroughly & well. As a set off to this beastly 
jerk of my temper, I do allow that you thought of me 
in sending Kingsley's book by post as you did, where- 
by I am cutting it & some toast at the present 
momenx. also that in matters of friendship you are 
not a "dilettante" but a realist & praeraphaelite. 

Since I left town I have suffered less from Asthma 
daily but yet a good deal. At Husey Hunts (Lewes) 
I felt, as I alway do, their extreme kindness, greatly. 
Thence I went to Ann at Margate : Sister No. 2 is 
coming home from New Zealand, (about April,) and I 
hope Ann will then live with her, as at 68, & in failing 
health I do not like her being so alone. It is always a 
hard task to leave the poor dear old lady, & I have to 
act hard-hearted to keep her at all quiet. 

Arrived here, I find a most good and kind letter 
from Lady Isabella Proby on poor dear John Proby's 
death. 1 She says, " I send you these details of my 
brother John's death, because I know you loved 
him." And this was true : I did love him very 
much, and that fellow Bowen's coarse ridicule of 
him was one among many of my causes of dislike 
towards him. 

1 Lord Proby, heir to the Earldom of Carysfort, died at the 
age of 35. Lady Isabella was his sister. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

But I myself was never kind to John Proby as I 
should have been, for which I suffer now, and some 
day shall perhaps suffer more. 

Regarding money Gibbs writes here that he has 
paid in 60 odd s to Drummings, & also Cramer & 
Beale have putchissed my 5 new songs, & the copy- 
rights of the old 4. So, if so be as you wants to get, 
(i) "Come not when I am dead "(2) " When thro' the 
land," (3) " The time draws near " (4) " Home they 
brought " I (5) " O let the solid ground " nows your 
time at Cramers 201, Regent Street. I could tell you 
a kind doing of Lord Stanley, but have no thyme now. 

Goodbye once more : my dear Chichester Fortescue. 

Lord Lyons' 2 death has just come to me also. You 
know I think that he saved my life when at Thebes 
1 848 3 by sending promptly out two doctors in a coach 
& four : had they not arrived I should not be 
writing to you now. 

Aprettygo this of the Montalembert decision in Paris. 

1 Twelve of Lear's songs from Tennyson were included in 
this series, and afterwards were published by Hutchins and 
Romer. The following extract from a letter of Lear's in 1882 
on the death of Archbishop Tait will give some idea of Lear's 
singing : " The latter was always very kind to me, and once 
said in a big party when I had been singing ' Home they brought 
her warrior,' and people were crying : ' Sir, you ought to have 
half the Laureateship.' That was in '51, when he was Dean of 

3 At Arundel Castle when he held the post of Minister at 
Athens. He was practical commander of the Fleet throughout 
the Crimean War. 

3 See letter of July 19, 1848, from Athens, p. 10. 


December, 1858, to November, 1859 


THE Ionian islands, which had been 
formed into a republic under the 
Protectorate of Great Britain after the Treaty 
of Vienna, had long been seething with dis- 
content, as they very naturally disliked the 
foreign yoke, and desired union with Greece. 
Sir Edward Lytton, who had succeeded Lord 
Stanley as Secretary for the Colonies, decided 
to send an envoy to investigate the causes 
of dissatisfaction, and for this purpose he 
appointed Mr. Gladstone Lord High Com- 
missioner Extraordinary to the islands in 
November, 1858. Mr. Gladstone's mission 
was not a success, as the people persisted in 
regarding him as the herald of freedom, and 
public opinion was so hostile in England that, 
after his return, a new Lord High Commis- 


Letters of Edward Lear 

sioner was sent out to enforce the British rule 
with greater stringency. But the idea grew 
and gained ground that the cession of the 
islands to Greece was only a matter of time. 

Lear to For fescue. 

ROME, 13. December. 1858. 

I have just got your letter 2nd & 4th. If you 
knew how often I have worried myself about the letter 
I wrote to you, you would not have added coals to my 
head by writing so kindly. The very fact of my 
opinions having weight sufficient to draw forth an 
answer should make me more careful of the ways & 
manner in which I put them into words or on paper. 
There are times when I turn into bile and blackness, 
body & soul, & in those phases of life I hate myself & 
through myself hate everybody, even those I like best. 
The general accusation of forgetfulness may have had 
some foundation as regards you, but I am sure I 
ought not to have written disgustingly as I know 
I did, and, as I set out by saying, I have been 
thoroughly vexed by having done so ever since. Pray 
forget this ugly little parenthesis in our friend-life : 
and believe that the irritation of an artist's life 
produces much which works its possessor bitterness, 
when that individual's brain has been so little guided 
in youth as mine was. 

I was at Margate with my old sister on the 25th. 
Novr. & Clowes joined me on the 26th. at Folke- 


Rome Revisited 

stone whence we crossed to Paris & remained there 
the 2;th. & 28th. What a splendid city that has 
become ! I never saw anything like the Rue de 
Rivoli : On Monday the 29th. we reached Marseilles, 
& that evening left for Italy, reaching Rome at mid- 
night on Wednesday the i st, and glad to get to bed in 
the Europa. 

The 12 days since then have been to me the most 
weary and sadly depressing I have passed for long 
years. And so dismal has been the return here, that 
only the friendlyness of ancient acquaintances, & the 
even temper and kindness of Clowes could have kept 
me above water : 2 or 3 times I have nearly resolved 
on going off straight to America. Day after day I 
have gone up & down stairs, but could find nothing to 
live in under any circumstances : Every place of any 
sort I could paint in, furnished, & at Grosvenor- 
Square prices, fancy, for 3 stuffy pokey rooms, foul, & 
vile, & up 4 floors, 15^ a month ! At last, having 
resolved that I must finish the pictures here (which 
as yet are not heard of even as far as Leghorn) I 
determined on taking (& I could only get it for 2 
years) a set of apartments in the New Palazzo 
Albertazzi ; I have got the 4th floor (half of it) & am 
furnishing it as fast as I can : it is to cost 2o per 
quarter, a sum I ought not to pay, & yet cannot avoid 
nailing myself to : As yet I have only got carpets 
cut, besides a portable bed-stead, six chairs, a pair of 
bellows, & a pepper-box. Clowes has got a lodging 
at 31 P. di Spagna & we see much of each other. 


But how can I tell you of the curious feelings which 
an absence of 1 1 years has occasioned on revisiting 
this place? It is impossible to do so. Moreover, I 
wish to send this off to-morrow, Robt. Hay, 1 the 
Knights, 2 the Bertie Mathews, Williams, & Gibson,3 
are here of old friends. 

Dec. 1 4th. Here is a go! Poor Clowes riding with 
C. Knight yesterday had a fall (his horse stepped 
in a hole) & he has broken his collar bone. So there 
is enough for me to think of just now. Meanwhile, 
I can't get into my rooms yet at all, and am really 
nearly mad. 

5. January. 1859. 


It is all well that you did not come into the room, 
instead of the apparition of your letter : if you had I 
should have had a fit & died. For I was so miserable 
that I had to put away my drawing & pace up & down 
the room, so that when your dear good kind letter 
came, I could not help the tears a busting out of my 
eyes incontinent, all the more as I read it : a weak- 
ness I had to conceal from Giorgio, who has a theory 
that " chi piange per altro che la morte di sua madre, 

1 Robert Hay was the leading member of an archaeological 
expedition to Egypt, 1826-32, and forty-nine volumes of his 
drawings were afterwards purchased by the British Museum. 

2 The family of John Knight of Wolverley. The eldest 
daughter married the Duke of Sermoneta ; the second daughter, 
Isabella, was a hopeless invalid. 

3 John Gibson, the sculptor, who died in Rome 1866. He 
revived the use of colour in statuary. 


Rome Revisited 

e sciocco," 1 or as he words it usually "6 o-rrolog 

X<*J/(He &ta TOV Savarov TJJC firirpog TOV, ttvai yaiSapOG \J-0-, 

an ass). 2 

I shall now dismiss my worries & reproaches about 
you, leastwise considering myself a mitigated beast, & 
I shall send this as soon as I can, hoping also you 
may soon write again, for the relief your letters & 
those of F. Lushington & others give me is not to be 
expressed. (Bye the bye do try & know F. 
Lushington at the Cosmopolite or elsewhere.) I 
shall now look over your letter, & answer in comments 
dividable by linear appearances. 

Gladstone & Corfu are queer absurdities : why 
didn't Dizzy let Lord Stratford (who was on the 
spot) settle things ? But still, though Gladstone was 
not a fit man to send, the Govt. have shown that 
they mean to set a new system to work, Gorgeous' 
going to wit as proof for he had no alternative^ tho' 
he vows he is going by choice. I expect poor Sir J. 
will resign, 3 as he ought to have done earlier & that 
he & all the Ionian suite will come here bye and 

I am very glad you have been enjoying yourself. 
It is not wonderful that anyone should like Stanley : 
I envy those who see much of him, as I have a kind 

1 "Who weeps for aught but the death of his mother is 

2 Practically the same as the Italian translation, with Lear's 

3 Sir J. Young did resign, and Sir Henry Storks was appointed 
in his place. 


of mixed affection and interest and admiration for him 
I never felt united for anybody. 

I need not say I was glad to know you saw more of 
Lady W. (What a fuss I am in to-day about her 

pictures : they are come but the d d dogana will 

not let them pass d brutes.) 

My kindest respects to Mrs. Ruxton : I am glad 
the i,ooo,ooo's sauce-pan is more to the purpose. 

By jingo ! if you were to come at Easter ! Only, I 
might go crazy. 

I have hung my show-room with white, & hope to 
get some drawings into it before long : but I am 
dreadfully bothered by invitations, which I abhor. 
Dinners are natural and proper : but late mixed tea- 
parties foul & abhorrent to the intelligent mind. 

Do you know I like Egerton H[arcourt] l better than 
I expected, indeed very well and also Lady Frances. 2 
I laughed at your note about "Jessie "3 she is too 
powerful by half, yet somewhat jolly. I am asked 
there to-morrow night, but I'm hanged if I'll go. 
That's the end of my notes on your's & now I shall 
shuffle on promisquis. 

First for goodness sake say who is Richard Bright?-* 
who rather is Mrs. B. ? I have taken a liking to 

1 Youngest son of the Archbishop of York. George Harcourt, 
Lady Waldegrave's husband, was the eldest son. 

2 Daughter of the fifth Earl of Oxford and widow of an 
elder brother of Egerton Harcourt. 

3 Second wife of Mr. Granville Vernon, another brother of Mr. 
George Harcourt. She was a daughter of the twenty-second 
Lord Dacre. 

He in Parliament. She a daughter of Admiral Wolley. 


Rome Revisited 

R. B. because he knows & likes you : also he knows 
others of my friends. So I dined there, last week, 
with S. W. Clowes (who having broken his collar- 
bone is now out again,) & showed him a bit of the 
Gampagna on Sunday. He seems a sensible fellow, 
& don't talk watering-place rot. At his house I met 
Gibbs * (former tutor to P[rince] of W[ales]) whom I 
liked & W. Palmer of religious fervid search 2 & 
George Waldegrave 3 who seemed a nice fellow also. 
But, as all here, these people go squittering after 
sights, & are no more themselves seen. 

The Stratford's 4 live a long way off beyond the 
4 Fontane. I have been asked to T., & have not 
gone but called : I doubt my seeing much of them. 

Can you get, or write, & send me out a letter of 
introduction to Odo Russell ? 5 or to him to me if 
that is the better way ? He is spoken of as well worth 
knowing, & I should like to know him if I could. 

1 Frederick W. Gibbs, Q.C., C.B , tutor to H.R.H. the Prince 
of Wales, 1852-8. 

2 Palmer of Magdalen, author of many theological works. 
When Augustus Hare's mother and sister were left destitute in 
Rome in September, 1859, through the treachery of an abscond- 
ing lawyer, the son relates how their old friend, Mr. William 
Palmer, came forward, and " out of his very small income 
pressed upon them a cheque for i$o." 

3 Third son of the eighth Earl and cousin of Lady Walde- 
grave's husband, the seventh Earl. 

* Lord and Lady Stratford de Redcliffe. 

5 The brilliant diplomatist, afterwards Ambassador at Berlin ; 
while nominally holding paid Attacheship at this time at Flor- 
ence, was employed at Rome on special service. Having no cre- 
dentials for the Vatican, his relations with Cardinal Antonelli and 
the resident diplomatic body, were thus of an informal nature. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

The Knights live here much as ever, Isabella pass- 
ing her 1 8th year in bed (I mean she has been in bed 
1 8 years ) but bright & patient always. Margaret 
Dss. of Sermoneta fading slowly : but kinder & softer 
than most Knights are. All are just as friendly as 
ever to me. So indeed are all Mr. Hay now nearly 
blind : & the Bertie Matthews, but these two last live 
in society & cliquerie. 

The James Marshalls l (she was a Spring Rice) 
with Aubrey de Vere 2 are gone to Naples. The 
Barrett Brownings also are here, but I know them 
not. Various Americans Cushman (Miss 3) Perkins,4 
& Storeys are pleasant & good but as yet I eschew 
general society, being wholly cross & bigongulous. 
My hopes are set on the Grand Duchess Maria 
Nicolowiena 5 of Russia, whom I hope to see here 
when I get my Athos paintings out if they ever do 
come out. Your friend Lord Granville 6 is here on 

The Holy Church outside the P. del Popolo, 
thrives : it is belarged and beorganed, & be-beautified : 

1 Third son of John Marshall of flax-spinning fame. 

2 Third son of the poet-baronet, and himself a poet. 

3 Charlotte Cushman, the great American tragic actress. 

* Augustus Hare mentions meeting at Venice in 1892 a Mrs. 
Mary Ridge Perkins, a quaint old American lady, who had 
adopted thirty homeless children. 

s Sister of the Czar Alexander II., widow of Maximilian, Duke 
of Leuchtenberg. 

6 The second Earl, President of the Council in Lord Palmer- 
ston's Ministry, 1852-8, when he resigned, but resumed the office 
in 1859. 


Rome Revisited 

& the chaplain Woodward is a good earnest man & 
preaches most Abercrombycally, 1 tho' he is a High 
Churchman. Everybody likes him, but the misery of 
the Sunday sittings on feeble chairs ! Vast women 
in black velvet hoops utterly carry off & prostrate 
many delicate men as they struggle to their seats. 
Many men kneel on hoops & dresses, & a 
section of the congregation is all over-balanced in 

The philosophical silent Suliot is of the greatest 
comfort to me. His remarks in Greek by play 
kill me. " ' ATr&a/ntvoi OVTOI 01 avZp^Troi" 2 he says of the 
Romans, who are so slow & odiously indifferent. 
And of their incessant begging, "AVTOI flvai "ApaSoi, 
juovov x ouv w*/wtf<rtfrep0 tv^ofiara." 3 It is hardly possible 
to be thankful enough for so good a servant. He 
says of Lushington that when he left, Giovanni (G.'s 
younger brother who was L.'s under-servant ) would 
not stay with the new Judge, but returned to his 
former trade of tailor, but, says G. he does nothing 
but talk of his old master instead of working. L. 
seems to have made himself beloved at Corfu as 
everywhere else. 

Correct your toe & tete in what it ails. It is a mis- 
take to have toes at all : hoofs would have been 
simpler & less expensive, as precluding boots. 

1 A reference used often in Lear's letters, but I cannot discover 
the man or the origin of the expression. 

2 " These men are dead." 

3 " These men are Arabs, but have more clothes on." 

129 K 

Letters of Edward Lear 


Janry. 24. 1859. 

To-day has brought me yours of the 1 5th, which 
oily rejoiced me. I won't go to church to-day, like a 
good boy, & will write to you instead. I heard of you 
two days back when Lady Bethell wrote to me, & 
said she had been talking with "an extremely nice 
friend " of mine at Lord Palmerstons. 

I seem to have a great deal to say, but am scattery, 
& shan't write connectedly. I am not rejoiceful in 
Rome & cannot "set myself in any good way." I 
have no one with whom to sympathize at all closely. 
S. W. Clowes is the kindest hearted & best fellow 
possible, but he has no application to or taste for 
much I would always lean to, nor could I talk with 
him as I do with you on many subjects. I wish 
indeed you were here for a time, but I trust to see 
you in Ireland or England before next winter. The 
mass of people here pass their lives in mere pleasure, 
a regular Bath & Brighton life & I don't care to 
know them. Others are naturally using every 
moment in seeing sights & learning Rome. Others 
have jealousies & smallnesses & professional quirks 
from wh. I wholly stand aloof. O Lord ! I wishes 
I was a beadle ! r 

All my smaller painting's here have been bought 

1 The beadles who stand outside the palaces of the great 
Roman nobles are still objects of admiration. The magnificence 
of their traditional costume no doubt attracted both the artist 
and humourist in Lear. 


Rome Revisited 

3 by a dear delightful chap one Aubrey de Vere 
Beauclerk, 1 who lives somewhere near Belfast. 

Lord Stratford was here for nearly two hours the 
other day & really delightful : he spoke of you in very 
nice terms. The Youngs & all the Palace party are 
coming here directly. Do you think Dizzy selected 
Sir H. Stork 2 on purpose that being called King 
Stork, his predecessor might for ever be dubbed King 

We have the Prince of Wales here, who seems a 
very nice looking & prepossessing lad. 

i$tk. Febry. I think I shall send this off to-day. 
I hear a Colonel Dunn 3 is appointed in the room of 
G. F. B. Gladstone appears to be making a great 
mess. Do you know Spring rice-ious people? I 
dined with some to-day. I wish one could know if 
there is likely to be war or not : it would be a bore to 
be boxed up here in the middel of hennemies. Do 
you know Odo Russell our new envoy here ? All the 
English fribble-world is irate about a Miss Cavendish, 
whom Mrs. Hare a pervert, (sister of Sir John Dean 
Paul,) has cajoled & bebaptismalized, unbeknown to 

1 Of Ardglass Castle, Co. Down. 

2 Sir Henry Storks was appointed Lord High Commissioner 
of the Ionian Islands in February, 1859, and remained there till 
the protectorate was resigned. He was afterwards Governor of 
Malta and Jamaica. 

3 Possibly Colonel F. P. Dunne, who was secretary and aide- 
de-camp at this time to Lord Eglinton, Lord Lieutenant of Ire- 
land. Mr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Drummond Wolfe, was, 
however, appointed secretary in the place of Sir George Bowen. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

her parents. 1 Manning 2 is preaching most atrocious 
sermons here, to which nevertheless, all heaps of 
fools go. A vile beastly rottenheaded foolbegotten 
brazenthroated pernicious piggish screaming, tearing, 
roaring, perplexing, splitmecrackle crashmecriggle 
insane ass of a woman is practising howling below- 
stairs with a brute of a singingmaster so horribly, 
that my head is nearly off. 

P.S. Has Cramer published my songs yet? 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 


26. March. 1859. 

At last your two pictures are done, & will be out 
of my hands in two days from this, & before the first 
of May I trust they will be in Carlton Gardens. So 
far as admiration of them can please an artist I have 
certainly had a full share from the 7 or 800 people 
who have seen them in my study : but I shall never- 
theless be very desirous to know how you are pleased 
with them. The Masada is the most striking : its 
sunset-colour, & excessive lonely character must 
always make it so. The Jerusalem is perhaps the 
most interesting ; & I hope both will give you plea- 

1 A daughter of Admiral Cavendish. The " Mrs. Hare" here 
mentioned was the mother of Augustus J. C. Hare, " Italima " 
in the " Story of my Life," and in vol. ii. p. 97 he tells a story 
of his mother's earlier acquaintance with Miss Cavendish in 
August, 1858. 

2 The following year Cardinal Manning became domestic 
prelate to the Pope 



From a photograph taken in iSjQ. 

One among a number taken in conte inflation of a statuette 

executed later by Xoble. 
This one a special post from one of the plays acted at Nuneham. 

Rome Revisited 

sure for many years to come. At any time I should 
have finished these two pictures carefully for my own 
sake, & on account of the interest of the subjects, but 
I must tell you that I have been more than ordinarily 
attentive to your two commissions, in as much as they 
were given me in faith, and because the payment of 
one of them was an assistance to me in going to the 
Holy Land. 

For the same reason I have taken as much pains 
as I could with Lord Clermont's picture too, which 
I believe I shall send off also next week. Neither 
picture of Jerusalem will I ever repeat, for the minute 
architecture has tried my sight a good deal, & more- 
over I hold that an Artist loses much of his originality 
by repetition of his works. 

The war between France and Austria now 
broke out, but was over very quickly. The 
difficulties in Italy, however, were rather 
augmented than diminished, as the Italians 
found that Louis Napoleon had no intention 
of literally fulfilling his promise to free them 
from the yoke of Austria. The national move- 
ment against foreign supremacy and the 
temporal claims of the Pope, soon began to 
assume threatening proportions under the 
leadership of Garibaldi. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Lear to Fortescue. 


May i, 1859. 

Here's a pretty kettle of fishes ! ain't it ? Every- 
body here is trying to get away, but they can't, for the 
roads thro' Tuscany are more or less uncertain, & no 
one chooses to risk horses being taken for troops. 
While, the same panic fills all the boats at Naples, 
& not a place is to be got at C. Vecchia, where several 
hundred English are staying, on dit, like to poor 
folk about the pool of Bethesda. The last 3 or 4 
days are indeed very full of thunder clouds, & no 
one knows what is to follow. (The P[rince] of 
W[ales] goes to-morrow). As for myself, I do not 
know which way to turn. Should the war continue, 
or spread in new directions, it is clear that no 
strangers will come here, & the place will be utterly 
odious ; yet I have taken expensive rooms for 2 years 
& a half, and have spent every farthing I have in 
fitting them up as a winter home. Possibly, if things 
grow much worse, I may come [to England], & pub- 
lish some of my tours by subscription, living ob- 
skewerly & cheaply. In less than 10 days I hope 
to send off Baring's & the other pictures. Next 
to make the studies for Gibbs, Hey wood, 1 & Stam- 
field's pictures in the Campagna. This will bring me 
to June, by which time I must decide some way or 

If I ever come to England I must see you at Red 

1 Arthur Hey wood, of Stanley Hall, Yorks. 

Rome Revisited 

House, but I should mainly have to poke about 
London, & therefore I had half as rather not come 
this year, all the more that the N.Z. sister comes over 
for 2 years & at first family matters won't be 
happy, as there has been much bother of late, & 
I always keep out of these messes, though I have 
come down with ^20 in the winter for the amiable 
relatives here and there, as is right & fit. My 
money affairs are, au plus bas : but I don't like giving 
up, so I shall hold on. 

I hope you have not been over-bothered by the 
Election 1 but, do you know I rather like you to 
have to do the work, because it stirs you up, & your 
nature requires that, I take it now and then. Lord 
D[erby]'s speech about the Indian heroes was 
good : but I don't think his Govt., or Lord S[tan- 
ley] in particular have acted well to Lord Canning, 
whose career has been one of the utmost difficulty, 
and needed no ungenerosity to embitter it further : 
the Earldom & the praise do not tally with the Ellen- 
borough Stanley dispatches. 2 

Yes indeed, I do feel " sick of time " here. I am 
convinced of this more and more : if you have a 

1 The defeat of Lord Derby's Government over Mr. Disraeli's 
Reform Bill led to a Dissolution of Parliament in May. 

3 On March 3, 1858, Lord Canning, then Governor-General 
of India, issued his famous Proclamation practically confiscating 
the whole of Oude. This was condemned by Lord Derby's 
Government, and Lord Ellenborough, then President of the 
Board of Control, sent a despatch disapproving of it in the 
most violent terms. Lord Canning received an earldom on 
May 21, 1859. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

wife, or are in love with a woman, (both phases 
of the same state of self division, the only real and 
proper state of life in this world) if I say such be your 
condition, w avSptn-n-e ! * then you may stay in any place 
& in any circumstances : you are raised out of the 
necessity of contemplating the cussed nuisances of 
poverty or bores by sympathy : but if you are abso- 
lutely alone in the world, & likely to be so, then move 
about continually & never stand still. I therefore 
think I shall be compulsed & more especially by the 
appearance of things on the horizon, to go to Japan 
& New York, or Paraguay, or anywhere before long. 


June 2/59. 

You may suppose I was regularly delighted at 
hearing from Lady Waldegrave how much she liked 
the pictures. Out of the 6 paintings, my years work, 
3 have given, & I trust will give, their proper share 
of knowledge & pleasure. 

I should gladly see Millais's worx, but do not 
greatly expect to like them. I am quite aware of the 
qualities of his mind, which I do not apprehend are 
of the progressive nature, as are Holman Hunt's : 
but his power and technical go, I have no doubt are 

Here, there is as much cheerfulness as so much 
sadness, the death of Lady Wilton 2 and Mrs. Hornby, 

' " O man ! " 

2 A daughter of the twelfth Earl of Derby and cousin of the 
Hornbys. She died December, 1858. 


Rome Revisited 

& 2 children of Lady Denison, 1 & the sudden total 
blindness of the dear old Admiral, can allow. I go 
on writing quietly, 3 tours, Athos & Judaea & Alba- 
nian Zagorian, & am generally placid in mental & 
obese in physical conditions. Movov jut 

Stv tfjLTTopH) va TTSpKToroTtpav TT/oooSov Trjg ' 
ar\fjitpivr}Q yXwo-crr)^, rjTog iravTore /ue ^aivtrtu ujg tv TT/oay/ua 
TTOU /UE 'XpeiaZtTai Ka3"' -fifttpavov. 2 

From here I go to, Alfred Tennyson's Esqre., 
Faringford, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, whence let 
me hear from you : I shall be there about Tuesday 
next, the 7th. 

I am on thorns for news about Italy : what a time 
of events is it not ? 


12. June, 59. 

Your's of yesterday week (posted later tho') I got 
at Tennyson's, which place I left yesterday morning, 
& after being in 12 vehicles reached this unutterably 
quiet remoteness, whither I had come to see dear old 
Mrs. Empson, & poor Wil. Henry E. the vicar. 

I have not been here for 13 years, since which two 
boys, 9 and 7 years old are di piu, & the kind mistress 
of the house is gone, & lies under a white grave, on 
which the Villagers put a fresh chaplet of roses every 

1 Littlegreen was the residence of Admiral Sir Phipps 
Hornby, K.C.B. Lady Denison was his second daughter and 
the wife of the Governor of Van Diemen's Land. 

a " I am only annoyed that I cannot make more progress 
in modern Greek, which always seems the thing I need every 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Sunday a circumstance I never saw in England 

Happily for me the Athanasian blasphemy was not 
read to-day & I fancy never is here : the living being 
in Nightingale of Emley's gift, who is not as you may 
know reputed over orthodox, perhaps because he is 
a truly good Xtian. They have 3 pictures of mine 
here, Licenza, Athos, & Corfu, & it is very odd how 
they bring me back past years. The fact is, time is 
all nonsense : it is shorter & shorter & suppurates 
into nil. 

My visit at Fairford was very delightful in many 
ways. I should think computing moderately, that 
15 angels, several hundreds of ordinary women, many 
philosophers, a heap of truly wise and kind mothers, 
3 or 4 minor prophets, and a lot of doctors and 
school-mistresses, might all be boiled down, and yet 
their combined essence fall short of what Emily 
Tennyson l really is. And the 2 boys are complete 
little darlings. Alfred T. went up to town Friday, 
& I hope the " Four Idylls of the King " will come 
out very soon. You will be more delighted with 
Elaine, & Guinevere than you can imagine. 

A twitching regret bothers me at having left the place. 

What does Urquhart 2 say to things in general as to 
Russia? 3 I cannot see any daylight of certainty, or 

1 Wife of the poet, and daughter of Henry Selwood. 

2 Husband of Fortescue's younger sister. 

3 " Mr. Urquhart was a very clever, self-opiniated, and often 
curiously wrong-headed man. He had seen much of the East 


Rome Revisited 

any kind of comfort anywhere : much as I disagree 
with Lord D[erby]'s party as guides of public pro- 
gress, I cannot forget Lord P[almerston]'s Sicilian 
& Italian or French obliquities. In fact my dear 
4oscue I begin to think that public men are mainly 
alike : & the debates on the address read to me very 
like a personal set of quarrels carried thro' on polite 
technical principles. I still hope to be in town about 
the 25th or 27th., when I must set to work experi- 
mentalizing about photographs, or lithographs or gros- 
pigraphs for new publications. At present I am doing 
little, but dimly walking on along the dusty twilight 
lanes of incomprehensible life. I wish you were 
married. I wish I were an egg and was going to be 
hatched. Intanto, I shall go to sleep, for hang me 
if I'll go to church again to-day. 

Friday Knight. 

Come, continually come : continually continue to 
come. The morer the betterest or bestestmost. But 
I must tell you that R. Cholmondeley l comes to 
brekfiss on Sunday morning tho' that need not 
prevent your doing so but it is phit I should 
tell you. 

and had a knowledge of Eastern ways and Eastern history which 
few Englishmen could equal. But he was under the absolute 
dominion of a mania with regard to Russia, which distorted 
all his faculties" (McCarthy's "History of Our Own Times," 
vol. iii. p. 276). 

1 Probably Reginald Cholmondeley, of Condover Hall, 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Mrs. Urquhart answered my letter, and David U. 
comes to-morrow. But, O Lord! They have sent 
beforehand a huge paper on Turkish Baths, and 
another on General poltiks, the which I can't and 
don't intend to read. My hope is that several other 
people will call at the same time so that no discussion 
will enshoo. . . . 

Did you ever meet a Baroness Blaise de Bury? 
Not that that that that that has anything to do with 
the subject except that I am going to sleep rapidgely, 
and have no more sense. . . . 


July, 1859. 

I had the message from the Attorney General I : 
but I intended to have told you so, in a note I left on 


your table yesterday />!> doubled up so. 

I read your speech this morning, & it seemed to me 
to read sensible & downright, & yet perlite & not 
cross. I am very glad you have this additional scope 
for your talents & study, & hope you will be a con- 
tinually a speaking. Please give me a " place " in 
New Zealand : then I shall be always in such a mess 
you will always be obliged to be a excusing of me. 

I wish I'd a "place " to paint in, meanwhile. 

I have worse accounts of my poor sister Harriett, 
this morning, but do not apprehend any immediate 

Sir Richard Bethell. 

Rome Revisited 

danger. I fear I shan't go to Ireland this year. 
How I wish I had some settled aboad, at least until 
the last narrow box. 

But if I settled myself I should go to Tobago the 
next day. 

What Italian doings! 

Yrs affly 

that's my new assygram. 

The following poem shows Lear had evi- 
dently been reading dough's " Amour de 
Voyage." The metre is the same and the 
imitation of the style is clever. In Lear's 
letters, too, one meets the same Roman society 
that is described by Clough : 


9 July. 
Washing my rosecoloured flesh and brushing my 

beard with a hairbrush, 
Breakfast of tea, bread, and butter, at nine o'clock 

in the morning, 

Sending my carpet-bag onward I reached the Twicken- 
ham station, 


Letters of Edward Lear 

(Thanks to the civil domestics of good Lady Wald'- 

grave's establishment,) 
Just as the big buzzing brown booming bottlegreen 

bumblebizz boiler 
Stood on the point of departing for Richmond and 

England's metropolis. 

I say (and if ever I said anything to the contrary I 
hereby retract it) 

I say I took away altogether unconsciously your 
borrowed white fillagree handkerchief; 

After the lapse of a week I will surely return it, 

And then you may either devour it, or keep it, or 
burn it, 

Just as you please. But remember, I have not for- 

After the 26th day of the month of the present July, 

That is the time I am booked for a visit to Nuneham. 

Certain ideas have arisen and flourished within me, 
As to a possible visit to Ireland, but nobody 
Comes to a positive certainty all in a hurry : 
If you are free and in London, next week shall we 
dine at the Blue Posts ? 

Both Mrs. Clive and her husband have written most 

Saying the picture delights them (the Dead Sea) 



Rome Revisited 

Bother all painting! I wish I'd 200 per annum ! 
Wouldn't I sell all my colours and brushes and 

damnable messes ! 
Over the world I should rove, North, South, East and 

West, I would 
Marrying a black girl at last, and slowly preparing to 

walk into Paradise ! 

A week or a month hence, I will find time to make a 

queer Alphabet, 
All with the letters beversed and be-aided with 

Which I shall give (but don't tell him just yet) to 

Charles Braham's little one. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Just only look in the " Times" of to-day for accounts 

of the " Lebanon!" 
Now I must stop this jaw, and write myself quite 

Yours with a lot of affection the Globular foolish 


E. L. 


I think I told you that my sister Harriett was ill, & 

not likely ultimately to recover. The last accounts 
however, were rather improved : until on Saturday 
Evening a telegraphic message came to my sister in 
Surrey, to say she was worse : & on the following 
day a second message told that she had died in the 
course of the night. 

In any case I should not have been able to go to 
Lady W.'s but as it is I am going off to-morrow 
morning, to get to her funeral on the following day : 
a long journey, near Aberdeen. 

There are only now 7 of us left living out of all the 
21. My eldest sister is staying in Sussex, & we are 
anxious about the effecl this sudden news will have 
on her. 

Is there any conceivable history known resembling 
this frightful Italian juggle ? 

And from St. Leonards-on-Sea, where he 
had taken some rooms in order to finish his 

work in quiet, he writes on the 28th : 


Rome Revisited 

My sister's death was so sudden at the last, that her 
nearer Scotch friends did not get to see her alive, poor 
thing. She however wrote a note to another of my 
sisters, only a few hours before her death, merely in 
these words. " Do not be grieved that I am alone : 
Christ is always with me : " & there is no doubt that 
she died in complete calm & happiness. What a 
dreary life hers has been ! & yet that of thousands 
& thousands. "There's something in the world 

Bye the bye, you have not told me of Guinevere 
yet, or perhaps have not had time to read it. Of 
course prudes are shocked. I should like to tell you 
some day or other of my argument with the Attorney 
General, who contends A. T. is a small poet. 

I am inclined to think that it is not difference of 
opinion which makes me intolerant, so much as a 
certain injustice, or " force majeure " applied in lieu of 
bona fide argument. 

3 1 st. July. This week past, & the end of that pre- 
ceding it, have gone in what I call absolute work ; 
& although the queer solitude in which I live & the 
displeasing mill-round of toil is not particularly joyful, 
yet apart from the thorough necessity of the daily life, 
(in order that I may be out of debt if possible before 
November,) I quite believe it is a better extreme for 
me than the lounging existence to which I can look 
back with no comfort, passed, since May i. in doing 
nothing, & by expenses getting further into debt. I 
believe, well as I know how much good I derive from 

145 L 

Letters of Edward Lear 

friends & also, how often I give them pleasure, I shall 
not go into the houses of the rich for some long time 
to come, so painful to me is the retrospect (so far as 
regards myself,) of the time I pass with them. I 
except Red House, (& you know how regularly I 
worked there,) & my dear friends the Winwick 
Hornbys where I was always at work all day long. 

This is what I do here : rise at 5^, & after 6 or so 
am at work till 8, breakfast then work till 5 occa- 
sionally obliged to leave off on account of sight, or 
from utter weariness, when I do a line or two of 
Sophocles, or compose some new song music, & at 5 
dinner to 5! at most. Then to 7^ paint again, and 
by the time the brushes are washed it is nearly dark, 
& I potter out to the post with some notes I may 
have written, or puddle along the shingly beach till 
9J Then, half an hour Sophocles, & bed. This is 
unvaried, barring the Sundays, when I go to Hastings 
to dine with somebody or other No " followers " or 
visits allowed in the week, nohow. 

I believe if you go on working that you may & will 
be of great service to your country : but I could point 
out a more rapid course of usefulness, if you did not 
object to the summary sacrifice of yourself upon the 
halter of patriotism ; & that is instantly to squash 
Messrs. Cobden & Bright, by pistol, pison, or knife, 
as you think phit. You would assuredly & properly 
be hung for the offence, but then think how the state 
would gain ! 

Meanwhile, to me things look bitterly serious, as 


Rome Revisited 

regards our own land, & Europe too. More especially 
of Italy, 1 whose Tuscany is at present a beautiful, but 
lonely beacon of hope alas ! who knows if fated to 
burn or die out ? 

You may imagine how interested I am in all that 
comes from Central Italy. Whether Garibaldi turns 
up in the Legations, is a wonderful problem for a 
week or two to solve. 

Don't you delight in Bowyer & Macguire ? 2 
Reading some of the speeches, by them & others, 
I should feel if I had to hear them, " woe is me 
as I am constrained to dwell in these tents of 

At present you all, Gladstone & Herbert & all, 
seem working famously together, & Lord John's 
speech is far beyond what I had expected. 

Would it be possible that a subscription should be 
set on foot, for national defences ? such as " steam- 
rams " &c., the existence of which cannot be construed 
as offensive ? 3 

1 The news of the Treaty of Villafranca had just been 
received, which dashed the hopes of Italian patriots to the 
ground, as it practically reduced the results of the war to 
the expulsion of the Austrians from Lombardy for a time. 
The Tuscans issued a proclamation that they would never 
again submit to the yoke of Austria. 

2 They delivered speeches on our policy with regard to Italian 
affairs, the subject having been introduced in a lengthy explana- 
tion by Lord John Russell. 

3 The success of the French arms in Italy revived the in- 
vasion panic in England, and various schemes for defence were 


Letters of Edward Lear 

119, MARINA, 


Sept. 2nd 1859. 

. . . All the little time I have away from painting 
goes in Greek. Would you believe it, & TroAujuox^V 
Undersecretary for the Colonies, I am nearly half 
through OiStVoue ITTI KoXovoi 2 yes, and understand it 
well too. I am almost thanking God that I was 
never educated, for it seems to me that 999 of those 
who are so, expensively and laboriously, have lost all 
before they arrive at my age and remain like Swift's 
Stulbruggs cut and dry for life, making no use of 
their earlier-gained treasures : whereas, I seem to be 
on the threshold of knowledge, and at least have a 
long way to the chilling certainty which most men 
methinks should have, that all labour for light is vain 
and time thrown away. 


Septbr. 2. 1859. 

I feel a kind ol placid sort of progress here, where 
no one hardly interrupts me, a kind of feeling like a 
snails belly-crawling existence. F. Lushington came 
over one day & night, & that was a vast pleasure. 

George Middleton, 3 Col. Leakes4 nephew, camefrom 
Dover : & my old friend Anthony Chester's daughter 
called to-day. The sisters of Sir John Potter live 
at Hastings, & I dine with them or at the Martineaux,5 

1 " Much labouring." 2 " Oedipus on Colonies." 

3 Son of Admiral R. G. Middleton. 

4 Colonel W. Martin- Leake. 

s R. B. Martineau, the painter, a pupil of W. Holman Hunt's. 


Rome Revisited 

on Sundays, at which latter house Holman Hunt is 
staying. And I suppose Fowler l may come to- 
morrow, & the Fortescue I hope in a week or two. 
My life is this : wake at 5^ & rise & work till 8 : 
at which time Helen, a distant relation of Mrs. 
Menelaus, gets breakfast ready. I like Helen very 
much as a handy little housemaid. Then I work, 
writing a little Greek first, till 1 1 (Eire) newspaper : & 
pretty interesting it is now-a-day's ! after which work 
till two. Eat, (and if possible, digest,) a triangular 
bit of cake, & then work again till 6J. Then walk 
till 7J when I return & dine, generally on a tabular 
& durable but not soft piece of beef, with a jug of 
table beer. (For a long time I fed on an immense leg 
of mutton, far, far larger than any leg of mutton I 
ever saw before or since. But one day I remembered 
that I had gone to the window to see a Circus Com- 
pany go by, & attached to that there was an Elephant : 
and then the horrid recollection that the Circus had 
long since returned, (I saw it pass by) but the elephant 
never had. From that moment I felt what that large 
leg of preposterous mutton really was, " e non mangiar 
avante " 2 & on the whole I do not recommend dead 
elephant as daily food.) After dinner I do Greek till 
ten & then go to bed. At meal times I read. And 
just now am reading a curious book which interests 
me a good deal, & in some things would you also, all 
the more that the first part of the life of the 

1 D. Fowler, a Canadian friend and artist. 
* "And I did not eat any more." 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Authoress, 1 (a Gal ton & Gurney), passed at Great 
Barr Hall : F. Scotts. The Lady Scott is I suppose, 
Sir Francis' grandmother. This book " Life of Mary 
AnneSchimmelpenninck," has many curious anecdotes 
of the people of the end of the last century, & to me 
is peculiarly amusing, as bringing back much of my 
early life. The amount of confused enthusiasm & 
splombonglified religion is twaddly at times, yet throws 
a light on some parts of the lives of a great mass of 
ones countrymen & women : a sort of wide narrow- 
ness, so to speak : at least, Mrs. M. A. Skimmywiggle 
was as wide a Xtian as can be found in that lot of 
sectarians. Besides this I read various other books : 
Volney to wit, which I have read before, & which I 
shall not send to my sister Ann certainly. 

Of pictures the two for Mr. Potter (Athos & Corfu) 
are all but done : & will be when you come. The 2 
for Mr. Edwards Corfu & Petra theatre, are far 
advanced, & look well : yet such is my nature, that at 
times I perceive them to be quite bad & useless & 
never to be completed, whenever ruin & debt arise in 
perspective & the bars of a prison instead of a familiar 
gridiron of cheapcooking. The other two, Campagna 
acqueducts (for Mr. Heywood) & a large Eastern Cliff 
of Petra for T. Fairbairn, are less advanced. The 
Judaea journal goes on, but as yet I see no way to its 
publication with illustrations. 

1 Hankin's " Life of Mrs. Schimmelpenninck " was published 
in 1858. She was a daughter of Samuel Galton of Birmingham, 
and after her marriage with a Dutchman, became a Moravian. 


Rome Revisited 

I hope you will work, have worked, & are working 
& shall be about to have been working, colonially : 
I hope to see you Col. Sec. one of these days, if you 
work that is not because you are on the steps of the 
ladder & should therefore gradually get to the top. But 
I shall hope to see you here for you would also like 
this place. But let me have a day's notice that I may 
get you some Elephantine food and adamantine beef. 


7. Sept. 1859. 

You are a blessing to your friends, & would be to 
your enemies if you had any, which I suppose you 
haven't. However, you will be still more laudable if 
you come down. I shall work horribly in the hope of 
seeing you on Saturday. You shall have some soles, 
a leg of mutton, & some varicose pudding of some 
sort. Will sing immensely. Mr. & Mrs. Fuller are 
gone, & you shall sleep in her bed, which is a much 
better one than can be got at a nin. I shan't ask 
Lord C. Hamilton 1 or the " Abercorns," or Lord 
Jocelyn, 2 who are here : because perhaps they would 
not come. 

My dear boy : I don't want any money & fresh 
borrowing would only distress me more. I am thought 
wrong by some for want of independence in ever 
borrowing at all, but, I am sure that is not a right 

1 Lord Claud Hamilton, M.P., brother of the Marquess of 
Abercorn, and brother-in-law of Lord Proby. 

2 The third Earl of Roden, Auditor-General of the Exchequer 
in Ireland, and Gustos rotulorum of the County Louth. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

view of things, for my whole life from 14 years has 
been independentissimo, & on the other hand, the 
man who will not put himself under obligation of any 
kind to even the friends who entirely sympathize with 
his progress nourishes in my opinion, a selfish & 
icicle sort of pride. It is as much a pleasure to me 
to own that I have been helped by you, J. Cross, J. B. 
Harford, 1 S. Clowes, W. Neville, & B. H. Hunt, as 
it is to look back on the fact of my having repaid (in 
most cases, & to be so in all,) what was lent me in 
money ; I have no wish whatever to shake off the 
moral acknowledgement of given assistance. 

I see, in spite of Fibbenson Gorgias's offer, a certain 
Herbert 2 has been named Secretary. I see Storx 
has prorogued the Ionian parliament. 

I had a nice letter from good merry Morier yester- 
day : a cheerful & nice fellow : but I don't wonder 
he don't like Berlin waav Vienna. 

What do you think of Rome ? Macbean has gone 
or is going back, & takes Mrs. M. saying that proves 
he considers quiet ahead. But if this Pesaro battle 3 
fall out for the Italians, the Holy Fathers will certainly 
be uncomfortable. 

1 John Battersby Harford, afterwards of Blaise Castle, 
Gloucestershire, who married the third daughter of Baron de 

2 R. G. W. Herbert was appointed Colonial Secretary to 

3 The pontifical army of mercenaries had made Pesaro their 
headquarters, and were said to be preparing for an attack upon 


Rome Revisited 

Is Newton l gone to Rome yet ? I shall ask you for 
a letter to him if as how you knows him. 


21. Octbr. 1859. 

Returning from seeing my beloved parent, (Holman 
Hunt,) safe to the Railway, I find your letter, together 
with one from J. Harford, a highly friendly concatena- 
tion of correspondenx. 

And being so cold just now I can't go to bed, & 
yet am only half awake, I shall endeavour to scrawl a 
line to thank you for your last, & to epopsimate the 
fangropunxious feelings of my buzzim. 

To-day came a letter from my sister Ann, telling me 
of some from New Zealand. Sarah is on her way 
home : & her leaving the Warepa seems to me a 
sort of signal of break-up in her family, added to by 
my nephew's wife's illness, one of increasing incura- 
bility it appears to me, and which I suppose has 
very much altered their views & plans. It seems 
that they have let their so increasingly prosperous 
farm, & that my nephew has got a situation of 200 
a year at Dunedin, "under Government," is all they 
(or rather my sister Ann,) mention : while the other 
sister and her husband leave N. Zealand altogether. 
This does not seem to me a grand conclusion to the 
7 years stay there of the Street family, but I suppose 

1 Mr. (afterwards. Sir) Charles Newton the archasologist, of 
British Museum fame. He had just been appointed Consul at 


Letters of Edward Lear 

the departure of my energetic sister, & the illness of 
my nephew's wife, have brought it about. 

As for poor Mary & her unpleasant husband, they 
have gone to Melbourne, & I hope will get a letter 
sent by a brother of his, well to do, in St. Louis, ask- 
ing them to go to America : where I think poor 
Mary would be at rest, for her brother-in-law married 
one of her earlier friends. Mary writes of Sarah, 1 " It 
was very strange to see how Sarah did all the work of 
the house & farm after Sophy was taken ill : for 4 
months she did really every actual thing except the 
washing : bread daily made for all 7 in number, 
butter-making, cooking, & all the cleaning up, besides 
always hearing the little girl's lessons : and yet she 
was always dressed at 4 o'clock, & had the evening for 
writing reading or music." To which sister Ann adds, 
" my dear, Sarah is a wonderful woman ! " And she 
ain't far wrong, as to energies at 66. 

I have sent you a long scrawl of family talk, but I 
know it won't bore you. You are a very queer 
Secretary of State, who don't get altered by your 
conditions & positions, as far as I can see, nohow. 

My kind respects to Mrs. Ruxton : also remem- 
brances at Ravensdale. Quite distinct from all these 
give my love to Dr. Cullen, 2 if you see him, and to 
Dr. Gumming 3 also : I take it, two nasty yet 

1 Sarah was Mrs. Street, and Sophy the daughter-in-law. 

a The Archbishop of Dublin, a Roman Catholic of the extreme 

3 A minister of the National Scottish Church, noted as a 
prominent controversialist. 


Rome Revisited 

approximate extremes. O dear me ! there is a good 
deal to say about my picture of Bassse J & many more 
mompophlious matters : but the dim lamp wanes : the 
dark sea moans & roars, and it is time that I should 
go to bed. Good-night. 

These are the most bestest lodgings I've been in 
for a long time. 


qth November 

O! Mimber for the County Louth 

Residing at Ardee ! 
Whom I, before I wander South 

Partik'lar wish to see : 

I send you this. That you may know 

I've left the Sussex shore, 
And coming here two days ago 

Do cough for evermore. 

Or gasping hard for breath dc sit 

Upon a brutal chair, 
For to lie down in Asthma fit 

Is what I cannot bear. 

Or sometimes sneeze : and always blow 

My well-develloped nose. 
And altogether never know 

No comfort nor repose. 

All through next week I shall be here, 

To work as best I may, 
On my last picture, which is near- 

-er finished every day. 

1 A great picture of this subject by Lear is in the Fitzwilliam 
Museum at Cambridge, subscribed for and presented by his 


Letters of Edward Lear 

But after the thirteenth (that's Sunday) 

I must if able start 
(Or on the Tuesday if not Monday,) 

For England's Northern part. 

And thence I only come again 

Just to pack up and run 
Somewhere where life may less be pain, 

And somewhere where there's sun. 

So then I hope to hear your ways 

Are bent on English moves 
For that I trust once more to gaze 

Upon the friend I loves. 

(Alas ! Blue Posts I shall not dare 

To visit ere I go 
Being compulsed to take such care 

Of all the winds as blow.) 

But if you are not coming now 

Just write a line to say so 
And I shall still consider how 


No more my pen : no more my ink : 

No more my rhyme is clear. 
So I shall leave off here I think 

Yours ever, 



December, 1859, to March, 1861 


HPHE Treaty of Villafranca was signed at 
* Zurich on the nth of November, 1859, 
and it was proposed to hold a Congress of 
European Powers to settle the affairs of Central 
Italy. This, however, was rendered impossible 
by the publication of the famous pamphlet, 
" Le Pape et le Congres," which was inspired 
directly by the Emperor himself, advocating 
the abandonment by the Pope of all his 
temporal possessions except Rome. Austria 
was so offended that she refused to attend the 
Congress unless the French Government dis- 
claimed the views put forward in the brochure ; 
but this they refused to do. 

Lear to Fortescue. 


26. Decbr. 1859. 

I shall write a scribblebibble from here, so that 
you may feel it borne in upon you that you are 


Letters of Edward Lear 

a letter in my debt, & so that I may the sooner 
hear from you in the Holy City, where, selon the 
Times, we are all to " pray, & dig in the ruins, 
and contemplate, & study art, and pray over again." 
Which reminds one that the " Brochure " (of course 
you have read it by this time,) is making a sensation 
in all France not to be conceived. The whole railway 
libraries are full of copies, & every tenth person 
seems to buy one. And the eagerness with which 
the Reviews of it are read is wonderful. It seems to 
be quite understood as the Emperor's policy or will 
made public, & I have heard from some who have 
known a good deal from being with his train all 
through the Lombard battles, that it is believed that 
he has fully decided on throwing over the Clerical 
party, & leaning on the Military only. The tightest 
screw is put on the press organs of the former, so 
this does not seem improbable. Surely the Cardinal 
A. 1 will hardly have a pleasant voyage, " knowing 
all his own mischance, with a seasick countenance," & 
perhaps reading the " Brochure " between vomitings. 

My own doings hereto have been most fortunate : 
Thackeray was on board the Folkestone steamer, 
and the weather was propishous. The great man 
was very amiable & gave me No. i. of his new 
magazine, "The Cornhill." Also I heard, the night 
I got to Folkestone, & saw in the papers that 
Mrs. S. G. had eloped with her fuliginous footman 
& was to be on board next day, a report which 

1 Antonelli, the Cardinal Secretary of the Papal Government. 


Rome and a Winter in England 

shocked me, as I know the S. Gs. I was therefore 
pleased on the 23rd. to find that the lady was 
Mrs. J. G. which I did not care about & which 
her footman was white & she carried a small spaniel 
in her faithless arms. At Paris I went to the Hotel 
du Grand Louvre, & never was so comfortable in 
Paris before, which the service & the beds & the 
cooking were all good. At 8 on the 24th. P.M., I 
set off hither, & arrived here before 4 yesterday, this 
being also a most good little Hotel & new to me. 
Lo ! on the dinner table there was roast beef, turkey 
& a plumpudding. There are some vulgarry people 
here going to Rome, & a capital military doctor from 
India, who I wish was going but aint. 

In the rail yesterday was an intelligent man going 
to Cannes, I do not know who. He told me some- 
things that interested me, viz. that the successor of 
Saunders, 1 a firstrate consul for so many years in 
Albania, is one Cathcart ; 2 whom he describes as a 
man of family & interest, but speaking no language 
but his own, & looking on Prevesa as an exile and 
thereby still lingering in London. I could not but 
agree with him that the neglect of our consulships is 
a far more dangerous evil to the English name & 
commonwealth than is cared to be considered, & that 
the opposite system with our neighbours here is one 

1 Sidney Smith Saunders (knighted in 1873) was appointed 
Consul-General in the Ionian Islands on their cession to Greece 
in 1864. 

* Major Andrew Cathcart. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

of their greatest implements in that success no one 
can deny them as daily increasing all over the world. 
I know it would be said that a public school for lan- 
guage competition & consular qualities would not be 
tolerated in England, as being ostentatiously conducive 
to the spread of foreign convictions as to our wish for 
" overrunning the world " &c. &c. But surely some- 
thing like a better system might gradually be attained 
to if it were fixed that 2 or more secretaries should be 
attached to each consul generalship, with a view to 
education in the lingo & manners of the countries, so 
as that the head being removed, one of the secretaries 
should succeed ! 

Thus, Wood, 1 undeniably the complete Consul- 
general in all points, being sent to Tunis from 
Damascus, after years of perfection in Arabic, in 
knowledge of the country & its people, & in general 
influence, why should the place of such a man be 
filled by an excellent old man from Erzeroum, 70 
years of age, & not knowing a syllable of Arabic ? 
Or that Saunders, the beau ideal of activity & zeal, & 
knowing Greek & Turkish for years, should not be 
followed by at least one who has some portion of his 
mantle ! I grant that Wood is good for Tunis, & 
that Saunders is good for Alexandria, but why fill up 
their posts by haphazard, & thus undo all that has 
been done for years. Both in Damascus and Albania 
now, a good French Consul could prevent our position 

1 Sir Richard Wood was Consul-General at Tunis from 1855 
to 1879, 


Rome and a Winter in England 

in trade & influence from ever becoming what it has 
been. (Moreover, if you want illustrations of the blind 
fool-system, I do happen to know that the Gov. 
offered Saunders the Consulship of a place in S. 
America ! so fit to bring out the talents used for 30 
years in the Levant !) 

I do not think anyone Gov. is chargeable with 
these defects, but the whole system should be changed 
& revised. Could you not set about such a plan, by 
a pamphlet or private influence, calling public or 
Government interest to the subject, which I think 
you would agree with me, is one of very great 
importance. I suppose however, you have but little 
time yourself, but you might tread on Lord John's 
toes or bully Lord P[almerston]. 

Let me hear from you as often as you can. I am 
in horrible misery just now, remembering a brutal 
letter I wrote you just a year ago. My sins are 
always like chronic fever, which return at stated 
intervals, or rather like pains in amputated feet, 
which are felt after the limb is long removed. 


6. Janry. 1860. 

(loth. Janry.) 

In vain is the net spread in the sight of any bird, 
which means obscurely that this sheet was begun to 
be written on directly I got your's of the 28th. Dec., 
but although that blank paper has laid on the table 
ever since, the bird has never settled on it. All 

161 M 

Letters of Edward Lear 

things go on as before the fathers fell asleep. But 

Lord! wouldn't the fathers or anyone else fall 
asleep here now! You never saw such a desert! 
there are only 200 or 250 English here par example, 
instead of 1800 or 2000: & the streets are literally 

The whole atmosphere of social & moral life is 
indeed a painful mess of bad, and doubt. Yet I can 
give you no light as to future nor could anyone. 
Things are so much more equally balanced here than 
in any other part of Italy that it is more than doubtful 
what might happen here even if the French troops 
were withdrawn. For you can imagine, fools & 
empty as they are, all the Roman nobles are so 
linked by blood and interest with the present 
Government that they certainly would not join any 
attempt at a new system of things, and again, the 
middle classes are also, thro' centuries, partly tied up 
in the same boat : and the whole mass is such a 
stagnation of pride & ignorance & superstition that 

1 believe, if God Almighty were to come down 
Himself, they wouldn't have a single benefit from 
Him if He were not a " Roman." On the other 
hand, I hear from some who know how things are, 
that a great portion of educated men advocates 
etc : would raise a new standard, and would depend 
on external aid. This may be : I cannot tell ; & I 
never enquire or politicalize a bit, for that wouldn't 
do here at all. 

One thing is sure, the violence of the clerical or 


Rome and a Winter in England 

extreme Tory party is intense, which looks as if they 
feared a good deal. And the way in which the high 
Church idiots here curse the revolutionary folk & 
weep for the P[ope] is a thing to laugh at or be 
disgusted with. Intanto a complete constraint & 
gloom pervades all the city &, inasmuch as I hated 
it last year, I do so now a thousandfold more for its 
odious false anti-human reason atmosphere. Giorgio 
says, " almeno in Gerusalemme si poteva vedere un 
camelo morte e qualchi Arabi : ma qui non c'e 
nulla." Fortunately for me, Dr. Kennedy l of 
Shrewsbury school, Tyrwhitt 2 of C. Church, Oxford, 
& one or more are here, & Newton the new Consul 
also, who seems a nice fellow. If he has force 
enough to set up this consulate on a new basis Vie 
will do no little good to his countrymen : but, for 
many causes he has no easy task, 

(O dear me ! what a odd hurried boshy life it is ! all 
fuss & so little rest ! " still from one trouble to another 

The Ross's of Bladensburg 3 are here : I hear 
they are very Papal but on a queer scent, viz : 
Urquhartism & considering that L[ouis] N[apoleon] 
is acting always under the Emperor of Russia! 

1 Headmaster of Shrewsbury and the greatest classical teacher 
of his day. 

2 Richard St. John Tyrwhitt, known chiefly by his writings 
on art. 

3 David Ross of Bladensburg, of Rosstrevor, Co. Down, and 
his wife, a sister of Viscount Massereene and Ferrard. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

They deny the Perugia affair, 1 I am told, wholly. 
L d Rendlesham 2 is the only peer & Lord Pollington,3 
a peer's son ; no markisses, nor dukes, nor baronets, 
nor nothing. Most of the Hotels are more or less 
shut up, & the lodging houses also. The beggars are 
ravenous & demonstrative to a fearful degree. Says 
I to myself, glad I shall be, when I am free, O Rome 
from thee, & over the sea, high diddledydee. I must 
go to bed & finish this blessed epissel tomorrow. 
Goodnight. E. L. . . . 

Jan. ii. The class or caste of Artistes here have 
always been in a queer position, with the exception of 
one or two, I for one don't choose to go to swell 
houses & stand against a doorpost & be stared at if 
I speak, as used to be the case in some places : 
which modes of life I have long given over. Your 
Lady W[aldegrave], is after all the finest specimen of 
a real woman in a swell place one knows of, & I 
wish to goodness she was here, though you don't. 
There would be talk enough for us two here for 
weeks, & I wish horribly you could run over, but the 
parliament won't let you, besides the Colonies. 

Card. Wiseman is here, & such a nest of Bishops 

1 In July, 1859, the people of Perugia expelled the Papal 
legate, whereupon the Pope despatched a body of Swiss mer- 
cenaries, who sacked and pillaged the place. There was a 
great outcry, and a commission was held to inquire into the 

a The fifth Baron, at this time a young man of nineteen. 

3 Eldest son of the third Earl of Mexborough. Succeeded 
to the title the following year. 


Rome and a Winter in England 

& Irish R.C.'s! (Dundalk Bowyer, 1 among the rest, 
whom I might meet if I liked, but I hate the lot, 
& go near none of them). Yesterdays talk is all 
about the intemperate anger of the "Aytog narrjg, 2 who 
absolutely blew up & bullied the Jews, on their annual 
visit of congratulation, he being very sore just now 
about the Mortara boy. 3 He is known to have laughed 
& said "What! you are still hoping to get back the 
boy ? " &c. &c. Cheer up, as the limpet said to the 
weeping willow : & forgive me for not writing before. 
Give my kindest regards, or however you may 
word them, to Lady Waldegrave. In the depths 
of my misery o,n board the Marseilles boat, when 
I lost my head from excess of illness, I for a time, 
continually saw the Punch & Judy at Strawberry 
Hill, with the little children laughing, & Lady W. 
in that browny grey =i= striped dress & little hat. 
Moral : people as does kindnesses to others does 

1 Sir George Bowyer. M.P. for Dundalk, joined the Church of 
Rome in 1850, and became chamberlain to Pope Pius IX. He 
built the church of St. John of Jerusalem, Great Ormonde Street, 

2 Holy Father. 

a In June, 1858, a Jewish boy, Edgar Mortara, was forcibly 
seized from his parents by order of Cardinal Viale Preta, Arch- 
bishop of Bologna and Legate of Pope Pius IX., because it was 
alleged that he had been baptized when an infant by a Roman 
Catholic maidservant. Intense feeling was aroused throughout 
Europe by the refusal of the Court of Rome to restore the boy, 
in spite of representations from -the French Government and 
a monster petition of Jews and of British Christians, headed 
by the signatures of the Archbishops of Canterbury, Dublin, 
and York. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

more than they think for to them as they knows 
nothing about doing them for particular. 

I wrote to ask A. Tennyson to come here, but 
hardly think he will turn up : it would be the very 
quietest year he could ever come in, & there will be 
no row while the French are here. I had hopes of 
coming to see somewhat of Newton the new Consul, 
(of whom be it said he is a clever & sensible fellow, 
& is putting the B.M's consulate already into a 
respectable position, which it never has been before 
in my time,) but he is collapsed into business, or daily 
society, so that I have lost sight of him. The New 
Zealand sister is expected in England every week. 
Ann is for the present staying at my widow-sister's, & 
I much wish that that arrangement may prosper 
& abide, as I find that my brother-in-law left his 
property all to his wife & uncontrolled. Are my four 
Idylls songs published at Cramer's yet ? Dear me ! 
I think life is a great bore : particularly when the 
chimney smokes, & one has a cold in the head. 

Your Government seems pretty serene altogether, 
& I greatly hope will stand fast. I thought Lord 
P[almerston]s speech l very good. The priest party 
here take the Q's speech mention of Italy as all on 
their side : which is amusing : " I will not interfere 
to prevent the Italians shaking off the tyranny of 

1 A speech in answer to Mr. Disraeli, stating that the Com- 
mercial treaty with France had been signed, and justifying its 
provisions. Also vindicating England's policy of non-inter- 
ference with regard to Italy 

1 66 

Rome and a Winter in England 

rebels " they say it means. I saw a letter in the 
" Times " of the 27th (strictly suppressed here in 
public of course) which was certainly strong, but true 
enough. It was written by Gallenga, who was sent 
off by the police with a 3 days notice. 

The most interesting person here is a Major 
Reynolds, which was occupied in Bundelcund a 
catching Thugs. His description of Thuggee is vast. 
Also his sister is quite apart from the crew of fools : 
seeing she reads Sophocles & Plato. Do you see 
my dear old friend Colonel Leake is dead ? This 
distressed me a good deal 


22. March. 1860. 

I am rather beshamed that I have not written to 
you for so long : & you are a cheerful cherub to 
send me the nice letter date I3th., which has just 
been brought in by George, who says also " ertxeua&n 
n iiravaffraOig" i alluding to what happened the night 
before last, of which anon. You in truth go on 
with wonderful " Abercombiness " & regularity, & 
the day will come when you will be as 43 giants. 

The "Echo" story is good. 2 

1 u The revolution has been worked." 

2 " Have you ever heard the story of the Echo of Villafranca ? 
Here it is. After their peace the two Emperors, riding 
together, came to a place among the hills where there is a 
famous echo. France said 'Que chacun de nous appelle sa 
femme' to try the echo. So they did. L. Nap. called 
' Eugenie ! ' The echo answered ' Genie ! ' Austria called 
' Elisabeth ! ' The echo answered f Bete ! ' " (Letter from 
Fortescue to Lear, March 13, 1860.) 


Letters of Edward Lear 

To pass to a public appointment which (for once, 
you'll say,) is really creditable, the new Consul 
here, C. Newton is a good and active man of 
business a fine scholar, a gentleman, & of a kind 
disposition ; he has already gone far to put the 
British name, into a train of respectable repute. I 
never can believe that dirty knives can be used to 
cut clean good bread, & the bread not be thereby 
injured. For years the R. C.'s have said, the 
English consular agent is a fit & apt representation 
of a base & bad nation : Now they are obliged 
to alter their voice on the subject, & acknowledge 
that the Q. is represented by a worthy & clever 

Mrs. Ross is still here, befussing herself about 

We are all here in very disagreeable excitement, 
& on Monday night that occurred which is not yet 
wound up. It was G[aribaldji's birthday, & a festa 
besides so that a considerable crowd walked in the 
Corso 4 & 4 smoking, for this kind of demonstra- 
tion is the thing now a days. The police (armed) 
late in the day arrested two men who displayed nose- 
gays of 3 colours, but, (this was in the Piazza. Colonna,) 
some Ffrench] officers interfered, & the two men 
were let loose. On which the Papal police retired 
" green with rage." The Corso was full of people, 
just at Avemaria, when they sallied out furiously, in all 
about 60, & ran a muck the whole length of the 
street to the P.del Popolo, cutting down & beating 


Rome and a Winter in England 

with buttend of pistols right & left. You will hear 
all this denied by Lords Derby & Normanby, but as I 
know those who know the names of J5 seriously 
wounded now in Doctors hands, & as the poor 
fruiterer opposite my friends died of his sword wound 
yesterday, & as it is well known that altogether 70 
or 80 were more or less hurt, you will excuse my 
believing the aristocratic defenders of Italy as it is, 
rather than my own senses. Among the wounded 
were also a sergeant, & 2 French soldiers, & one 
officer, son-in-law to one of the Generals. It is 
impossible to give you an idea of the state the people 
are in. But as many as 10 patrols in a body are 
placed at every other street end all down the Corso, so 
no movement is possible. Meanwhile Gen. Goyon J 
has publicly praised the police " for obeying orders " 
but a great mass of F[rench] Officers (it is said) have 
declared that they "gave no orders." What is to 
happen next chi sa? 

Embrace Lord John. He is a duck. 2 What I 
wish now is that Vpctor] E[mmanuel] may, with all 
Italy, split from the old P[ope]. A few months must 
decide now. 

I met Odo Russell at Miss Cushman's at dinner 
lately, a very extremely nice fellow. Browning was 
there also, & told me a story of Carlyle which I shall 
send you. C. on going abroad for the first time saw a 

1 The General commanding the French troops in Rome. 

2 On the i2th of March Lord John Russell entered into a full 
explanation of the Savoy question. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

crucifix, & said calmly " Ah ! poor fellow I thought 
we had had enough of him ! " 

As for me I am at work on a heap of pictures 20 in 

100 IOO 2OO 2OO 

all : 2 of the Campagna, a Beyrout, Damascus, & 


Interlaken, will be striking topograffic scenes, & I 

hope to sell them on my return 
to wise & wealthy wirtuous 
wights for 700^ if possible. 
If things get more ojous here, I 
must leave earlier. The New 
Zealand sister has arrived, after 
just 7 years absence. I am very 
glad for the sake of poor dear 
Ann. Is H. Hunt's picture yet 
wizzabel ? A jew, a jew, my 
friend. I have become so fat 
for want of exercise that you 
would not know me, so I attach 
a portrait. 
Do you wear knickerbockers ? Don't you like 

Tithonus ? Have you seen F. Lushington ? Do you 

go to the Blue posts ? I must leave off like a 

deleterious donkey as I am. 

Yours affly, 


The American Consul narrowly escaped a sword 
cut, & one Mr. Arkworth or Akworth also. Ugh ! 
The converts deny the whole thing with the most 
impudent lying. Manning is preaching here, furious 


Rome and a Winter in England 

as a bear. He predicts the utter fall & decay of 
England & the rise & triumph of Ireland, which he 
says is the holiest country of modern days a fact, you 
though a cussed heretic will be pleased to hear. 

Concerning the waste of money involved in going 
away, there were once two people who had each a leg 
of mutton for dinner, but both were invited out. One 
gave away his leg of mutton, but the other said " that 
is waste," & ate it all up, whereby he was sick for a 
week. Now you see I don't mean to eat up my leg 
of mutton upon this principle. 

It has been anything but an Abercromby winter to 
me though : so much time thrown away by asthma, 
& lethargy, for I cannot, HORRIBLE to RE LA TE, 
rise before 7^ here. But I'll make up for lost time, 
as the Tadpole said when he lost his tail & found 
he could jump about. 

We know less than nothing here : for they sup- 
press the papers now. What will happen it is wholly 
impossible to guess : though it is thought that General 
L's mission x is rather in the interest of France than 
Sardinia, that of the P[ope] being the ostensible cause. 

V[ictor] Emm. of Turin will have a difficult task yet 
to keep straight : & I can't but wonder at some of 
Cavour's doings. I wish I had a chance of seeing 
you in Ardee, but I shall trust to doing so often 

1 At the beginning of April General Lamoriciere, who had 
been a celebrated leader of the Zouaves, but who had been 
expelled from France after the troubles of 1848, arrived in 
Rome to take over the command of the Papal army. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

in Town. I wish the D. of N[ewcastle] had had 

the sense to put F. Lushing- 

ton into Merivale's place. 1 I 

am surprised at M's going 


I am grown horribly fat from 
want of exercise like this 

At the beginning of May Lear left Rome for 
good, and set out for England, having been 
disappointed in his original idea of revisiting 
Palestine and getting fresh subjects for his 
pictures. Want of ready money, from which 
he always suffered and to which he constantly 
alludes in his letters, was probably the cause 
of this alteration in his plans. In con- 
nection with this I may mention, that he was 
for ever making elaborate plans for travel, 
which were constantly doomed to failure for 
the aforesaid reason. 

One of his first visits was to Nuneham, Mr. 
Harcourt's place in Oxfordshire, to execute a 
commission for two landscapes. 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 

Thursday, July, 1860 ? 

DEAR LADY WALDEGRAVE, I have just sent off two 
boxes and a Neasel which are to go by the next goods 

1 Merivale, permanent Under Secretary of the Colonies, had 
just accepted the Under Secretaryship of the India Office. 


Rome and a Winter in England 

train and to be left at Culham Station as addressed. 
The foolish topographer will follow tomorrow by the 
4.50 express. . . . 

I am going to ask you if I may divest myself of the 
duty of breakfast in the morning (save Sunday), 
because, as I begin early, and the effect of light and 
shade ceases at 1 1 J, the interruption of cleaning and 
feeding at 10, will just cut up the best part of my 
morning. Also, when in a state of application, or 
incubation as it were, I am more or less necessarily 
disagreeable and absent, and should certainly answer 
" Elm trees and bridges," if they asked me whether I 
would " take tea or coffee ! " 

Directly after I finish my morning work, I should 
willingly devour a sandwich, and go across to the 
Church view, which I shall be able now to see very 
well, as I can place my canvas on a lofty easel, I 
myself standing on the green seat, thus : 



5. Sept. 1860. 

I find, (since I saw the Fortescue yesterday,) that 
my Sussex & Hampshire visits will keep me out of 
London till the 2ist On the 22nd. therefore may I 
come down to Dudbrooke & stay with you over the 
Sunday ? 

As for me I am working at all kinds of places, 
Damascus & Bey rout, Masada & the Cedars of 
Lebanon principally besides Bethlehem, Interlaken, 
Philae, & the Roman Campagna. Identifying oneself 
with all this various topography naturally makes one 
less sane than usual, but at present my feelings are 
tried more than commonly because I am at work in a 
large room lent me by my landlord who is a portrait 
painter, & his room is full of faces. The Rev. Jabesh 
Bunting & Lady Mulgrave sit upon the walls of 
Masada, Sir Fenwick Williams & Mr. Spurgeon peer 
among the branches of my Cedars Mr. & Mrs. Cunard 
of New York abound in the ruins of Philae, & the 
Bishop of Gloucester is dominant in Interlaken. So 
that I have a horrid fear that I shall hash all these 
people up together in all my foregrounds. 

Lear to Fortescue. 



Sept. 30. 1860. 

I really hope you will be able to come for Sunday 
the 1 4th., for you would enjoy this place, if weather 


Rome and a Winter in England 

gets better, & by that time my Cedars will have 
advanced a bit, I trust. 

Yesterday only the big case arrived, but thanks to 
the assiduous friendliness of one Mr. Lyle who has 
built a huge house in the centre of Cedardom, I am 
able to get the canvas set up allright, & actually 
worked at it a good bit : The next neighbour to Mr. 
Lyle also, a Mr. Hewitson who possesses the finest 
collection of Butterflies existing, 1 pervades the place 
with assistance & brings water-jugs &c. &c. freely. 
I have hired a small boy, his name is " Norval " (on 
the Grampian Hills his father feeds &c.) for sixpence 
a day, wages to be raised to ninepence if good, 
who carries folios, brushes &c., from the Hotel, for 
this Hotel is only 5 minutes from where I go to paint, 
so I hope all next week to get a-head. 

But I will describe my life generally. The Hotel 
then is a large & sumptiously commodious place, in 
a part of the old Oatlands Park with nice broad 
terrace walks, & a wonderfully lovely view over the 
river Temms & the surroundiant landskip. Them as 
likes private rooms, can have them. But, I & some 
20 more live in public. I have a large light bedroom, 
delightful to behold, & wanting for nought. Here I 
rise, (to begin the day,) at 6, & by 6.30 or 6.45 am 
at work on one of the seven drawings. At 8 I go 
down-stairs, & from that to 9. breakfast audibly 
in the public coughy-room, which is first-rate in 
every particular. The Times, (oh how my stomach 

1 This collection is now in the Natural History Museum. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

aches for Garibaldi ! ) & letters arrive also at that 

Immejately after these facts, I go out to work, 
(Friday it poured with rain, so I worked indoors,) & 
by 6. I am back again. Dinner happens at 6.45. & is 
well arranged & good : & what pleases me I can get 
plain food. One pint of sherry, & one ditto of beer is 
my liquor, & these are extras, all other board, 
lodging, & service costing 4.4 a week. The company 
is not bad, & rather amusing : some is permanent, 
some changeful. Among the latter I trust are the 
parents of a beastly little child, whom seeing playing 
about, I spoke to simply as being attracted to all nice- 
looking little children. Whereon the imp thus 
accosted me : 

" O my ! what an ugly chap you are ! " And what 
ugly shoes you wear! "You must be a nasty ugly 
old Scotchman ! " It is unnecessary to relate that I 
turned away with ill disguised disgust from this offen- 
sive infant, who cannot fail to bring his father's gray 
airs to an untimely hend. 

The only other person who has gone is a large old 
lady, who the first night (Thursday,) I was here, came 
slowly across the large reading-room, steadily looking 
at me. When she had advanced within 3 feet of my 
chair, I could bear it no longer, for I knew she would 
do one of two things, either embrace me, or charge me 
with a religious tract, so I rose up in terror. On 
which she said in a loud voice, " Sit down Sir ! I only 
came across the room to see if you was anyone I 


Rome and a Winter in England 

knew." To return to the Dining table, there is a 
young Hussar who has been in French service,- & 
later all through the Indian Mutiny : rather a nice 
fellow, Irish, & knows the " Bellews " : A very well 
informed & clever man, I conclude a physician : his 
wife wears spectacles & seems literary. A grand dark 
man, who says Hay? if ever I speak to him, (so I 
have left off doing so) : & various other characters. 
The head waiter is a praiseworthy individual, & his 
efforts to make a goose go round 18 diners were 
remarkable yesterday, as well as his placid firmness 
when there was only one bit left, & 4 persons yet 
unserved. " Who's this for ? " said an agitated 
buttony boy, foreseeing the invidiousness of the task 
set him. " HENNYBODDY ! " said the waiter in a 
decided tone, & then coming to the three gooseless 
persons, of whom I was one, 

(Three were in such fortune cast 
Of whom myself was left the last,) 
he said in a conscientious & pained under-voice 
" Gentlemen I am really sorry this has happened ! 
but I declare to you that there shall be another goose 
to-morrow ! " 

At 9. I go to my room, much to the disgust of the 
community who having found out that I am musical, 
consider my "seclusion" unpleasant. And so they 
sent up a deputation 2 nights ago to ask me to come 
down to them but I remained where I was. For one 
hour, I translate 'H lloXtrcla, of my daily old Plato : & 
for one more hour I pen out some remaining Athos 

177 N 

Letters of Edward Lear 

drawings. And at n. I go to bed. There's a pretty 
good history of life at the Oatlands Park Hotel. 


Scene, Railway Station, North of Scotland. 
Persons : Old Scotchwoman and Railway Clerk. 
Old Woman. " A Tucket." 
Railway Clerk. " Whar till ? " 
O. W. (with more emphasis). " A Tucket / " 
R.C. (louder). "Whar till?" 
O.W. (fiercely). " A Tucket, I say !" 
R.C. (angrily). " Whar till then ? " 
O.W. " You are a nasty speering body ! What 
is't to you whar I am ganging to ? " 

(Train draws up party of Old Woman's friends 
call out " Jeanie ! Jeanie ! You'll be too late : 
have you na got your tucket ? ") 
O.W. " Na ! and I winna tell the old fellow whar I 
am going ! What is it to him ! " (Train goes on.) 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 


October 23/60. 

Since I was at Dudbrooke that exceedingly nice 
youth the Count de Paris with his brother & the 
Prince de Joinville r came to my studio & looked over 

1 The Comte de Paris was the eldest grandson of Louis 
Philippe. At the Revolution of 1848 his mother brought him to 
England, and he grew up at York House, Twickenham, with his 
brother, the Due de Chartres. The following year he went to 


Letters of Edward Lear 

lots of Nilatic drawings. They were pleased with the 
drawings, & I with them for the two young men 
particularly are really intelligent & unaffected. 

I hope to send your two Nunehams l to Strawberry 
very early next week I hope extremely that you will 
like them. 

I have been & am still painting Cedars at Oatlands 
Hotel & I return there on November ist, for the soil 
is so dry that at present I have neither Asthma nor 
roomatizsim when I am there On the contrary I 
have been making some new nonsenses in my old age 
"still in our ashes " &c., (see overleaf). 

Please remember me to Mr. Harcourt. 

Lear to Fortescue. 



7 day of Dec. 1860. 

MY DEAR 4SCUE, Aaovroc TY]V Trig avyijc TT\V tTTtaroXTjv 
<rou, (ovaag rt rje avyijc TOV TT/owrou pipovg Trig ri/j.ipag,) KOI 
rrjc S/JKIJC <rov KaXwg tvpiGKOfjilvri, iyaiptaa TroXu. 'AXXa ot 
fj.a\\ov %av/j,a<TOitv nva JUT) ttf oiKiav ivploKOvroq TOV 
Trig TlapHTaiag, KaKitrrog 6 icatpog, KOI, (ovTwg cTrttv,) 
avTov ore yvwpi%eiv waXa TOV Naw^rjyov ^SiiifJLwp, irtrj irpoTSpov 
HaKpwg avfjnrepnraTovvTtov ETTI TT)V Trjg Pw/ULrig i^o\rfv, itttivov 

TOTt (ffTOV TToXXtt IVfj) ^Wy/OO^EtWV floVV(i)V KO.I KaTaK\0)fJ,(jjV 

America to serve in the Civil War, with his brother and the 
Prince de Joinville, his uncle. 

1 Two pictures painted in the grounds of Nuneham, Mr. 
Harcourt's house in Oxfordshire. The pictures are now in the 
possession of Lord Waldegrave. 

1 80 

Rome and a Winter in England 

7roX<e OU<T>JC 1? Pt^ua roiavra /ne Karaorao-ete Ivroc 
TTCjOtKoicXou, aXXa Se row Mt^eXou S?jjua)/3 ovroc tic rov 
"AyyeXov 17 'A/o^ayyeXov TTOTTOTE avyyevtojg owre EtSataii', OVTE 
a> i//euSae Xtytuv Suva/ieu : rfjf <rvoyou row, aXXa Et'Stjo-fe etvat 
tm row 'IctTjOOu St'/o. r Q. Natrovou, (ocme 6 jSao-tXtvc rtajptoc 
6 Tfocrajoroe TTJC 'AyyXta^ ES'E/oaTTtwS'r) juspticwv votrwv Xeyet i? 

I had your letter this morning, (now the morning is 
the first or earliest part of the day.) That you did not 
find the Count de Paris at home was more surprising 
that the weather was so wet, &, so to speak, I may add 
that I myself also once knew Admiral Seymour 2 very 
well, having made at one time long excursions on the 
Campagna of Rome with him, he there occupying 
himself with drawing views of mountains & vallies : 
for Rome is a city abounding with objects of that sort 
within a small circle, but that this Michael Seymour 
was anyway related to the angel or Archangel I can 
neither certainly state nor yet positively deny : although 
it is well known that his wife was a daughter of the 
Physician Sir W. Knighton by whom report says 
George the 4th, King of England, was successfully 

1 " When I received your sunrise letter (sunrise is what the 
Greeks call the morning) and found your enclosure all right, I 
was very glad." Lear has translated the whole letter in the 
paragraph following, so with the exception of the first sentence 
no further translation is required. 

a Sir Michael Seymour won special distinction in the troubles 
with China in 1857, when he destroyed the Chinese junk fleet 
and captured Canton. In 1858 he forced his way up to Tient- 
sing, and a treaty was signed. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Bother Thucydides. 

A letter from Rome this morning brings me a 
"quittance" from the " Fratelli Spillman" my late 
landlord, putting an end to my lodging treaty, The 
compliments they pay to my "high & renowned 
qualities " & to my " superior nature " have made my 
stomach ache : tho' I am very glad the Roman affair 
is done with. 

I wish I could hear from poor Giorgio. 

Write soon. And don't get in the way of those 
odious Donaghue maniacs I : I said little about them, 
for I hate the whole lot so much I can't keep my 
temper on the subject. 

Don't forget my messages to Mrs. Ruxton, & Chi, & 
all who know me "a blessed privilege" as Mrs. H. 

I do not think the picture (Bassse) is to be pre- 
sented by the subscribers, as they say that won't do 
for a precedent, but by a certain lot of Trinity Coll. 


Thursday 7. March. 1861. 

You will be sorry to hear that my dear sister Ann is 
extremely ill. Although she was here last week, as 
I told you on Sunday, she has had a relapse of her 
internal complaint & some alarming symptoms are 
showing themselves. Besides this the poor dear has a 

1 The O' Donaghue, the member for Tipperary, was one of the 
leaders of the extreme section of the Roman Catholic party in 
Ireland, and an ardent supporter of the Papal claims. 


"Once upon a time a bird was ill, and a cat, bending down to it, said, 'How are you, and what do you 
want? I will give you everything, only get well.' And the bird replied, 'If you go away I shan't die.' " 

To face page 182. 

Rome and a Winter in England 

dreadful swelling in the back of the neck, which con- 
tinually increases, & which the Doctor fears may turn 
to Carbuncle. The two illnesses together will I dread, 
be more than at her age she can rally from, nor do J 
quite think she would undergo any operation, which 
the Doctors hint may be expedient. Her medical man 
sent for me last night, & I have seen her. Poor dear 
creature, her sufferings are very sad, yet she is absolutely 
cheerful & tranquil, & speaks of dying as a change 
about to bring such great delight that she only checks 
herself for thinking of it too much. She has always 
been indeed as near Heaven as it was possible to be. 

I have written for both my sisters : the widow 
comes to-day. 

You may suppose I am greatly distressed at this, 
tho' at present I do not fully realize the whole. 

I heard from Lord Clermont to-day. I had thought 
it right as I had before written about the Civitella, 
to tell him it was sold, Sir Francis Goldsmid ' pur- 
chased it on Monday : for 1 50 guineas, which you 
also will be glad to hear. 

Penrhyn 2 died yesterday morning. Leycester P. 
wrote to me yesterday but, altho' I wish to go to the 
funeral, my sister's state of health may prevent me. 

1 The first Jew called to the English Bar, and the first Jewish 
Q.C. and Bencher. President of the Senate of University 
College, London. 

8 Edward Leycester took the name of Penrhyn in accordance 
with the will of his cousin, Lady Penrhyn, whose property he 
inherited. He married in 1823 Lady Charlotte Stanley, eldest 
daughter of the thirteenth Earl of Derby. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

The death of his sister on nth March, 1861, 
was a great blow to him. 


1 8. March. 1861. 

MY DEAR CHICHESTER, I write this, more to thank 
you for your's than for ought else. 

I went to Oatlands after the funeral ; but have 
come to-day to this place, hoping to get to A. Tenny- 
son, but there was no steamer. 

I am all at sea & do not know my way an hour ahead. 

I shall be so terribly alone. 

Wandering about a little may do some good perhaps. 

Yours affectionately, 




" I "HE death of his eldest sister, who had 
A- been like a mother to him for so many 
years, and to whom he had always been deeply 
devoted, affected Lear's health and spirits to so 
great an extent, that he welcomed the oppor- 
tunity given him by Lady Waldegrave of 
going to Italy, in order to execute her com- 
mission to paint a picture of the view from the 
celebrated Villa Petraja of Florence. Stopping 
at Turin on his way there, he mentions that he 

waited thro' Sunday for the fete, well worth 
the delay and I saw Vpctor] E[mmanuel] quite 
closely, as well as all the milingtary specktickle. 
We all of us, however, little thought then that the 
merry days would be so soon clouded by Cavour's 
death. 1 

1 The news of Cavour's death on the 6th of June plunged 
all Italy into mourning. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

On June 8, 1861, he reached Florence, 
whence he writes : 

There has been a row of a small kind here, the 
people being angry that some reactionists appeared on 
C[avour]'s death being known with Austrian orders, 
etc. The mob tore the orders off, and Corsini had 
to run for it into the Duomo till the N. Guard came. 
Moreover, in the Corpus Domini, the Priests turn 
away the Host from the soldiers, who kneel. The 
priest party seem as blind as such fools usually are ! 

And on the 24th 

Things are very unsatisfactory in many ways. 
Certain people are positive that the I[sland] of 
S[ardinia] will be given up shortly to follow N[ice] 
and S[avoy]. r 

It does not seem clear to me that there may be 
a reaction strong enough to bring back the K[ing] 
of N[aples] 2 and perhaps the G[rand] D[uke], but 
if anything is clearer it is this, that their return 
would end, as in the case of the Stuart restoration, 
in more distinct revolution, and more absolute exile. 

Meanwhile he set to work in earnest on the 
Petraja picture, though still far from well either 

1 In March, 1860, Savoy and Nice were ceded to France in 
return for her services in helping to free Italy. 

2 In September of the previous year Francis II. of Naples, a 
ruler as bad as his father, had been driven out of his kingdom 
by Garibaldi. 

1 86 

Italy and Switzerland 

bodily or mentally, for he was suffering from a 
severe internal sprain, and had just received 
the news of his sister Mary's death at sea, on 
the voyage back from New Zealand 

Early in July he started on a tour northward 
through Italy to Switzerland, visiting Lucca, 
Pisa, Via Reggio (where he made a drawing 
of Shelley's burial-place), Pietrasanta, Massa, 
Carrara, and Sargano, reaching Spezzia on the 
1 4th. Thence he went to Genoa on his way 
back to Turin, where he says: 

I have been trying to draw the Alps, but they, 
like Sarah in Abraham's tent, have hidden themselves. 
So I took a fit of Protestant enthusiasm and rushed 
off to the Vaudois vallies, which are very interesting. 

And with regard to the political situation 

The Turinese have been a-saluting the Swedish 
Ambassador with a serenade, and cheering him 
immensely. I fancy the other side are by no means 
giving up hopes of upsetting matters yet but with 
Cialdini at Naples l they will find themselves sold. 
" One struggle more and we are free," as the song 
says. But that the Priesthood can ever be where 

* On the I3th of February General Cialdini, head of the 
Piedmontese army, took the fortress of Gaeta, the last strong 
hold of King Francis II., and then went to Naples as Lieut.- 
Governor for the civil administration of the country. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

and what it was only very shortsighted folk can 
suppose. I wish I had heard Ricasoli's I speech on 
Sunday, at the Inauguration of C. Alberti's statue. 

From Turin he went to Courmayeur and 
then to Aosta. Crossing the St. Bernard to 
Martiny, he proceeded to Vevey 

which is Paradise, and I don't see how the people 
there and at Lausanne can have the impudence to 
suppose that they can go to Heaven after death. 

After visiting Ferney, Geneva, Chamounix, 
and many other places, and filling his portfolio 
with drawings, he returned to England at the 
end of August. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

AOSTA. 28. July. 1861. 

DEAR 4OSCUE, Je vois, (dans le Temps) que vous 
vous portez en Irelande, e cessez d'etre Sectre. pour les 
Colonies. 2 Faites moi savoir de vos nouvelles a 

1 Prime Minister of the Government of the new Italian 

2 A leader in the Times of July 22nd stated that Mr. Chichester 
Fortescue was to succeed to the office of Chief Secretary for 
Ireland, vacated by Mr. Cardwell, who was to be promoted to 
the Chancellorship of the Duchy of Lancaster ; but this 
information was incorrect, as Sir Robert Peel was appointed 
Chief Secretary on the 25th, and Mr. Fortescue continued at 
the Colonial Office. 


Italy and Switzerland 

Geneve Je vous prie ou je dois me trouver le 
Sieme. Aout au plus tard. Est ce que vous serez 
deja parti avant que je suis de retour, c'est a dire le 

25, de ce mois ci? 

Votre affly, 



igth. August 1861. 

At present I am at work ferociously on the Petraja, 
& I must say it promises well. I worked on the large 
lemon trees in pots all yesterday, & to-day must fidget 
over the houses all the long hours. No life is more 
shocking to me than the sitting motionless like a 
petrified gorilla as to my body & limbs hour after 
hour my hand meanwhile, reck peck pecking at 
billions of little dots & lines, while my mind is fretting 
& fuming through every moment of the weary days 

Do you see the charge against Thirlwall l in the 
Westminster ? T. having been attacked about his part 
of persecution in the Essays & Reviews, 2 & being 
asked how he could be so bitter when he himself 
had written Schleirmachers Luke says in reply 
" No ! not I, but a lawyer Thirwall wrote that 
not the priest." (This it seems is true but it was not 

' Bishop of St. David's. 

2 A Liberal work published in 1860, by various authors. It 
caused some commotion in the English Church because of the 
alleged heresy of the views expressed. Professor Jowett was 
one of the contributors. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

published till 4 years after T. was ordained : which 
little bit of Jesuitry they now display to the orthodox 

Your remarx on Ardee interested me much : It is 
indeed a different life for you. The prayers just 
as they are you are quite right to read daily : dear 
old Mrs. Ruxton means nothing but good, even 
when she says the Athanasian Creed : It is not the 
individual peculiarity of worship that grates on us, 
so much as the public recognition of a hateful exclusion 

Bye the bye this reminds me of Emily Miss 
Beaufort's 2 volumes l which I think your Aunt 
would like : the Miss Bs must be plucky singular 
women, but there is too much enthusiasm & religious 
zeal in Miss Emily for my taste, so far as I have got 
in her book. Yet if she could help me at the Mount 
of Olives in my large view of Jerusalem ! Think of 
laying your head, my head I mean, after long long 
hours of weary outline drawing not on the hard 
bolster of the tent bed, but on an intelligent female's 
buzzim ! I declare to you that the invitation to meet 
them so near here at the Goldsmid's for 2 days sorely 
puzzles me, tho' I believe I shall stick to my work 
here & go nowhere even for the small chance of 
future female buzzims & intelligent aid in outline. 

1 " Egyptian Sepulchres and Syrian Shrines, including some 
stay in the Lebanon, at Palmyra, and in Western Turkey," 1861, 
by Emily Beaufort, the daughter of the distinguished geo- 


Italy and Switzerland 

Let me hear what news you have of Lady W. I 
believe she & Mr. H. have gone on a political 
errand to Vienna, as his cousin to Perth. Ought 
not Roebuck to be hooted, intanto, anent his Sar- 
dinian Declaration ? : 

Meanwhile, I have very few letters here as yet 
& mainly from my sister Ellinor, who has other 
letters from America, all wretched enough. I am 
trying to send money to Frederick's family, but 
Drummond says it is not to be done, all the more 
that President] Lincoln has naw prohibited all inter- 
course between the two sides. Fredk's only son has 
joined the Southern army : Henry's 4 sons have 
joined the North side, but it seems to me that Henry 
from New York, looks as gloomily on the Northern 
prospects as F. does from Springfield. I suppose 
all my 5 nephews were in the last battle, a curious 
state of unpleasant domestic romance. 2 

From the Hornby's & Cross I have not heard, 
& imagine they are at Dover, where not improbably 
Lady Denison would go, as her sister-in-law Mrs. 
Phillimore 3 would be there, & the whole Palmerstonian 

1 At a banquet at Sheffield on August 2ist Mr. Roebuck 
announced that he knew for a fact that a compact had been 
entered into between the King of Italy and the Emperor of the 
French, that the latter should have the Island of Sardinia so 
soon as he withdrew his troops from Rome. This was after- 
wards contradicted most emphatically by the French Press, as 
well as by Baron Ricasoli. 

3 The American Civil War broke out early in the year. 

3 Sister of Sir William Denison and Evelyn Denison, Speaker 
of the House of Commons. She married Mr. R. J. Phillimore 


Letters of Edward Lear 

spectacle x worth seeing & being part of. Nor does 
Clowes write, perhaps in Norway : nor James 
Edwards perhaps in the sulx. 

My own life is I rise at six or 6.30. & work a 
short hour before breakfast at 8. Bkft as slight as 
possible 2 cups of tea, 2 bits of dry toast, 2 ditto 
bacon, work till n : newspaper. Work again till 
2. small bit of cake. work till 4. Dine, simple sole & 
beneficial beer : work again till 7. wash brushes & 
swear till 7.30. Prowl in the dark along the melan- 
choly sea till 8.45. Bed at 9.30. For I am too 
sad & tired by that time to work again. Bed 
extremely uncomfortable like a plum pie turned into 
stone. Lie awake & have the cramp & the side-ache 
till morning. Then the "break, break, break," of the 
sea gets me to sleep. I have a piano, but seldom 
play. Housemaid vexatious &, a goose, wears 
crinolines. Your Palgrave book 2 is very delightful : 
every piece seems well chosen. 

I must stop now. I am grieved at not coming 
myself, but besides all the fuss aforesaid, I am not 
well enough for a stay anywhere : the other day 
you saw me in a lively fit from meeting you so 
apropos but generally I am restless & glumy. I 
think I shall take to drinking as a change. 

(created a baronet in 1881), at this time Judge of the Cinque 

1 Lord Palmerston was instituted Lord Warden of the Cinque 
Ports at Dover on the 28th of August. 

2 F. T. Palgrave had just published his " Golden Treasury of 
Songs and Lyrics." 


Italy and Switzerland 

Little Browning (7 or 8 years old) said to Lady 
Normanby one day " I write poetry as Papa & 
Mama do" "Oh!" said Lady N. "I thought you 
seemed a very odd little boy but now I see there 
are 3 incomprehensibles, not one incomprehensible." 

5. Sept. 1 86 1. 

I fully intended to have written to you on Sunday 
being in a fretful state of mind at having disappointed 
you by not coming, & myself by not going to Ire- 
land : but when I had written 24 letters, I became 
like unto a spawned salmon, & was exhausted, & 
could work no more. 

Concerning the buzzim of intelligence, I am dis- 
pleased, (since I wrote,) with some of Miss Emily 
Beaufort's J writing. She wonders forsooth, that there 
is a traditional terror of the Cross or " anything 
shaped like a cross " among the poor " ignorant 
Jews " at Jerusalem ! Has Emily then never heard 
of the Crusades, of the Spanish persecutions & 
Inquisition, of St. Bartholomew, of all the Popes, 
not to speak of Lord Chelmsford 2 & Mr. Spooner ? 3 
If she has not, the Jews have, she may take her 

1 Regarding this lady, Fortescue writes on the 3rd September : 
" I wonder whether you want after all to meet the Beauforts. 
My impression is that intelligent females who write books 
are often disappointing. You can tell me whether my con- 
clusion is correct." 

3 Lord Chancellor in Lord Derby's Ministry. 

3 Leader of the Anti-Maynooth party in the House of 

193 O 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Yes : I certainly do hate the act of painting : 
& although day after day I go steadily on, it is like 
grinding my nose off. The elder Morier has written 
me a beautiful letter : he is so pleased with R.'s l 
engagement: " der dikke" 2 albeit, is laid up with 
gout : the 26th. is, it seems, the wedding day. The 
elder Edwards wrote, asking for a succinct as to size, 
age, place &c., account of the Cedars, which I sent : 
some days later comes a Liverpool paper, giving a 
notice of the private view of the Exhibition, "The 
Cedars," being the great Lion & praised to the 
skies the concluding paragraph being " Mr. Lear 
has in this great picture not only achieved a pro- 
fessional success, but he has also conferred an obliga- 
tion of the highest order on the whole Christian 
world "(MM! ! After that take care how you speak 
or write to me.) 

I have letters also from America : terrible alto- 
gether. All chances are now shut up of farther 
communication from Missouri, & even the 5^ I 
have sent in a letter will probably never reach its 

Bye the bye, some who know, or profess to know 
Italy, declare that representative Govt. never will 
succeed there, because they say it will become a 
representation of advocates, & military only the 
ingredient of Landed interest not being encouraged 

1 Robert Morier, at this time attache at Berlin, married Alice, 
the daughter of Lieut.-Gen. the Rt. Hon. J. and Lady Alice 
Peel. Fortescue was his best man. a " The Stout." 


Italy and Switzerland 

or possible. Lever told me this, & said it was 
Bulwer Lytton's opinion : (which perhaps made it 
his, for Mrs. Lever is a relative.) 
; I wish I could see you all at Rostrevor. You 
are right to go & see the Flower-show, delilahs 
high-derangers & what not. Do not be relaxed by 
the climate if possible, leastways take some tonic : 
dear me ! what good beef & beer there used to be 
at Red House (not to speak of sherry). 

21. Sept. 1861. 

You are a kind good fellow to think of coming 
down here on Thursday after Morier's wedding, 
& I should be an "oomboog" if I said it wouldn't 
please me. Only I wish you could have made the 
journey on your way out of England, so as not to 
have so long a giro to make on purpose to see the 
dirty Landscape-painter. 

; The New Zealand news is interesting : (I can't 
make out if Sir J. Grey is arrived there yet.) 
Christianity will extirpate the other race eventually, 
(but then their souls may have been saved you know,) 
as in the battle of races has ever occurred, when there 
is greater power on one side than on the other ; and 
I don't see much use in blinking the fact. I had a 
long letter from Rome yesterday : among other 
matters it appears curious to me that Pentini is 
about to be made a Cardinal, (he is an upright & 
liberal Catholic,) & it seems to me an indication 
that the Holy See, perceiving that they must go 


Letters of Edward Lear 

with the stream, are about to make it easy (very 
gradually) by allowing more of the liberal ingredient 
to enter into the Conclave. But I do not think 
anything very sudden will occur, as L[ouis] N[apoleon] 
would abhor any general shudder in his own empire. 
Grammont's recall is however considered as pointing 
to a change. My informant, a very reserved person, 
yet one who knows intimately all that goes on, 
says " Of all the brigandage and reaction you hear 
of, nothing occurs that does not directly emanate 
from here." She speaks also of the Ex Q. of N. 
as "the fastest of all young women, not to say 

V. Emmanuel at Florence is very interesting to me, 
as I have now made the view from Villa Petraja all 
but a reality, it seems as I sit hour after hour at work, 
as if I could hear the vivas from the distance. 

Holman Hunt writes very amusingly from Oxford, 
near which he is painting in a field, but has been 
discovered : & people send him out luncheons five 
or six parties, & troops of ladies trudge across fields 
with Albums for his Autograph. 

The weather has often been lovely here, but is now 
cold, & only fit for beetles & hogs. 


ii Oct. 1861. 

I had your letter this morning, which was pleasant, 
coming as it did with two other pleasant letters ; 


Italy and Switzerland 

one from Emily Tennyson, on their return from the 
Pyrenees; the other from Franklin Lushington, which 
his Aunt Lady Murray l being dead, tin has descended 
to him. But if you expect me to write well or much 
you will find yourself disappointed : for at this par- 
ticular juncture when every hour is full of worry, 
daylight shortening, fogs unceasing, & pictures un- 
finished at this inconvenient time I say two Danish 
friends, & 5 Canadian cousins have simultaneously & 
inopportunely turned up, to destroy my peace of mind 
& call forth the innate amiable qualities of my nature. 
For if I say " I am particularly engaged just now " 
that would only seem a general excuse for showing 
a cold shoulder to foreigners & interrupters : so 
that I have made up my mind to go to Windsor 
with the Danes, & Leatherhead 2 with the cousins 
2 sublime sacrificial acts which in themselves are 
somewhat, but beyond themselves involve seeking 
tickets & arrangement by notes to no end of 
botheration. I am glad you are enjoying yourself. 
I ain't. And as for content, that is a loathsome 
slimy humbug fit only for potatoes, very fat hogs, 
& fools generally. Let us pray fervently that we 
may never become such asses as to be contented. 
Nevertheless I was sorry my last letter followed 
you, as I dare-say it was disagreeable : which most 
things are : & myself especially. But did you ever 
have a beastly bore of a brother-in-law who perse- 

1 Wife of the distinguished Judge. 

3 Where "Sister Newsom" lived, 


Letters of Edward Lear 

cuted you for tin? If not you cannot enter into 
my feelings just now. 

Meanwhile I left St. Leonard's on the 3<Dth. Sept. 
& went to Sir F. Goldsmid's for 3 days. Such a 
nice house & pleasant people ! Such a distracting 
Miss G. with such a face, like Mary Squeen of 
Cotts ! So then I came back here, & am involved 
in fog & very cursed filth. Yet to me London is 
not hempty. Holman Hunt, Beadons, Bruce, Digby 
Wyatt, 1 Bergmanns, Alfred Seymour, Terrick Hamil- 
ton, 2 Fairbairn,3 Col., Hornby, & my 2 Godson's 
families 4 are among those I see. And, very possibly, 
the small dinners of highly intelligent or scientific 
middle class friends are about the really best society 
going, though you might not think so, as Diamonds 
& Marchionesses hardly ever enter into these more 
vulgar Kingdoms of Heaven, nor are Duchesses or 
Princes frequent. 

Bye the bye, there is a new spadmodic poet, by 
name Swinburne who seems to amaze small circles. 

The religious world bubbles & frizzes, & it is now 
said that the Athanasian Creed is to be repeated 
always before dinner in all Godly houses & some- 
times afterwards also. One of the Hyaenas at the 
Zoological Gardens is dead, & one of the Giraffes 

1 The architect, knighted in 1869. He was secretary to the 
Executive Committee of the Great Exhibition, 1851. 

a Of Charters, Berks. Became M.P. for Salisbury, 1865. 

3 Thomas Fairbairn, whom Lear often mentions in his letters, 
was the eldest son of Sir William Fairbairn, the great engineer. 

* Combes' and Crosses'. 


X * 

To face page 199. 

Italy and Switzerland 

has brought forth a puppy, I mean a calf, that is 
a giraffino. And the Hippopotamice, have, (I regret 
to say) attempted to reproduce ineffectually more 
than once. A large & not- pleasantly-odorous dead 
black cat has adorned our door steps for 5 days, bu 
that is not wonderful, only sad. Thomas Woolner 
the Sculptor r has taken a house in Welbeck St. & 
Palgrave the poet has gone to live with him. The 
wick of the lamp wanes, & I stop. 

I2th October. 

I can't add much now : The Petraja is finished, & 
will be sealed up in its new frame on Monday. 

This morning brings me one more dreadful letter 
from Missouri, shocking to read, & preventing my 
thinking of anything besides its ugly subject. 

If you are really here by the ist. Nov., I most 
probbbably shall see you. 

2&th Oct. 1 86 1. 

All the nonsense book, with 42 additional illustra- 
tions are completed as woodcuts, & negrotiations 
commence with a Buplisher next week. Maclean 
also is to do a small work on the Ionian Isles so 
pease an darmony prevale. 

My elth is better : & I am, (at this moment,) 
not quite so sleepy or savage as I was when I 
wrote last. 

(Arthur Stanley who visited Athos with W. G. 

1 One of the seven original members of the Prae-Raphaelite 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Clark, writes on a card " Athos beautiful & curious : 
not classical enough for W. G. C., not ecclesiastical 
enough for A. P. S.") 

The buzzimless have been here for 4 hours : 
I don't " cotton " to them. Patent, shiny, lacquer, 
pimmy-puny, tic tic tic tic. They are however 
ladylike, & plucky as travelleresses. I shall be 
immensely delighted if Lady W. likes the " Petraja " 
even half as well as some do. The garrulous 
gardener however did not observe that I "sat " on 
a "spot" to colour my plain & distance, but that I 
"stood" on another "spot" to draw the whole. 
Can the Hithihopian go for to change his spots? 
Yea, but I am not an Ethiopian. O Lord ! cousins ! 
Canadian cousins ! Danish friends ! 

You will see Sir J. Graham 1 is dead : & Lord 
Lansdowne 2 very ill. I think I shall stop now : it's 
rather an amiable letter for me. 


Sat. 16. Nov. 1861. 10. a.m. 

I shall employ my last hours on earth, i.e. before 
I embark on the oshun, in writing to you this 
spot, a dry attic in the Hotel de Ville, being 
perhaps better adapted for writing than Adriatic 
waves would be. 

1 The eminent statesman, who sat in eleven Parliaments, and 
filled many great offices of state. From his debut in 1818 till 
his death in 1861, he was one of the most important figures in 
English political life. 

3 The fourth Marquess. 


Italy and Switzerland 

Not but the day is as perfect & brilliant as any 
poet might presume to be the perfection of perennial 

All the traffic of Trieste is like gold & silver 
set in lapis lazuli & emerald, & the air is as lovely 
as the wision & spectacles .1 shall however, some 
of the details concerning my sometimes but seldom 
disagreeable, generally extremely pleasant, & always 
filled with eventually tumbling down upon my legs 
circumstances, journey from Folkestone to this place 
to relate proceed. 1 

First my voyage over to Boulogne was remarkable 
as the only one out of some score made, which was 
quite calm, & on which & of which I was not sick. 
Moreover it was a pleasure to see that wonderful 
old man Lord Brougham 2 who was also passing 
over ; not but that he is greatly aged in appear- 
ance, yet he is a wonder of a man. There was the 
Hearl of Arrowby3 also. But what was more to 
the point, was a young couple, Plumers, going out 
to Injy with two delightful children ; said Plumers 
having a letter from the Hornby s to the Denisons, 
& being old friends of the Crakes & Penrhyns. At 
Boulogne, where Lord B. examined all the Restaurant 
& toddled about continual, the Plumers, speaking 
no French, were bothered & I gladly helped them 

1 Written on the principle of a German sentence intentionally. 
3 He died at Cannes, seven years afterwards, where he had a 
villa. At this time he was eighty-three years of age. 
3 An eminent Conservative statesman. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

to a carriage, where jointly we all talked & nursed 
the childer to Paris. There, not a bit ol luggage 
was opened, & at i p.m. I got to the Louvre. Next 
day 9th. I met with T. Wyatt, 1 my friend the 
Architect, & appointed to do & see various things. 
I went also to see one Chichester 4oscue supposing 
he might be ill, but was glad to find he was better. 
Wyatt & I dined sumptuously together, & by 8.30 
next day, loth I was on my way to Strasbourg, 
where I slept, as that train stops. 

On the nth, Monday, at Kehl by 8 luggage 
being all registered to Vienna. In the carriage was 
a very lady-like elderly woman, who very amiably 
assisted me in German : we however, talked French, 
& for all the long journey I shall always thank the 
good old lady who was one of the best informed, most 
clever, largeminded, & charming individuals I have 
met with of late. Eventually I came to know that 
her son is Ambassador or Minister either at Vienna 
or Paris, (his name being Wimppfen) : I suppose 
from some Court such as Wirtembg. or Munich. 
Please tell me if you know. 

At Brucksal Madme. W. & I fraternized & dined 
together. Beyond that our converse was disturbed 
by a Servian Countess with an unruly boy whom 
I took to task : the Countess had a suite of 5 
persons whom it seemed to me she snubbed. At 
Stuttgart, some ladies of the Queen were sent to 
see Mdme. W. who had to speak of the K. & Q. 

1 Brother of Digby Wyatt 

Italy and Switzerland 

&c whereon the Countess who understood all 
tongues, thought fit to take her legs off the seat 
& bully her boy into decent quiet, & to favour 
Mdme. & me by several items of notice. Later 
when Madame W. & I were talking of Corfu, she 
suddenly calmly asked me if I knew a " famiglia 
princepesca, chiamata Roma? la figlia maritata al 
Governatore di India, uno Sir George Bowen tutti 
parenti della principessa de Monte N. ? " l 

By 10 we arrived at Munich, & the day having been 
fine, it was great fun to see the country as well as 
to be so well off for company. Tuesday i2th. I 
was on my legs all day. I had no idea of the 
curiousity and interest of Munich much as I had 
heard of it. That a single man, (Louis, 2 ) should 
have made such a capital is very extraordinary. At 
the table d'hote 6. P.M. there were two Italians, 
who, by my talking to some others, took me for a 
Florentine but when the other lot went away, 
hearing me speak English, asked me what country 
I was of, & on my saying English, became very 
communicative. I found that the man knew every 
part of the South of Italy & he must have been 
puzzled by my knowledge of all the families of the 
Abruzzi & Calabria. I found he went to get 
my name afterwards though that could not have 

1 A princely family called Roma? the daughter married to 
the Governor of India, one Sir George Bowen all relations of 
the Princess of Montenegro ? 

a King Louis I. of Bavaria, who was compelled to abdicate 
in 1848. 

203 m 

enlightened him much : but I did the same towards 
him, & discovered he was F[rancis] 2d's minister 
to Bavaria, only just arrived ! 

At 10. P.M. off by rail : the dear old Wimpfennious 
lady, a Phanariote Gk, & myself getting a Coupe" : 
the Servian Countess & suite another carriage. Con- 
versation in the coupe was carried on in English, 
French, German, Italian, & Greek, & was very 
amusing all night, especially a dissertation on 
religion of which we 3 represented 3 forms I, in 
the middle, acting as "buffer" to the 2 extremes 
Orthodox & Schismatic. 

At Salzbourg (3. A.M. i3th.) Austrian frontier: 
luggage all gone on, no bother. Servian boy fell ill 
& all the party had to stop. Perhaps I was hard 
on the Countess, but she struck me as vulgar & a 
spy. At Vienna by noon : an ugly noisy place 
which I hate. I got all my luggage safely, and was 
not bothered a bit : the one drawing of Jerusalem 
acting on the feelings of the whole Douane. 

On Thursday i4th off at 8.30 by alas a slow 
train, for the quick trains now only go twice weekly 
meantime there was more leisure to see the 
wonderful Lemmeriz Alp well. Was horribly starved 
for 23 hours as the brutal train only stops once, 
& then for 15 minutes in the most awful crowd 
impossible for a blind man to penetrate. So at 
7.30. yesterday Friday I5th, I came to this excellent 
Hotel : & I have since walked all about Trieste, 
written letters to Dickinson & my sister Ellen 


Italy and Switzerland 

& a long one to my Godson's brother full of 
advice worthy of Lord Chesterfield, Elijah, or 
Kingsley : besides this to you. Which I pray you 
reply to addressing to me at Corfu. I will write 
also as soon as I get there. 

But ah ! (the Landscape painter said,) 

A brutal fly walks on my head 

And my bald skin doth tickle ; 

And so I stop distracted quite, 

(With itching skin for who can write ?) 

In most disgusting pickle 

& merely sign myself 

Yours affectionately. 

Tell me when you have seen the new Book of 
Nonsense. Routledge & Warne, 2 Farringdon St., 
will publish it, but it will make it more known to 
advise it to be purchased at other booksellers. 
Please recommend it all you can. I will write to 
Lady W. soon. 




Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU. Dec. ist 1861. 

MY DEAR 4oSCUE, I have wished to write 
before, but could not get settled enough to do 
so. After I left Trieste, I had an abominable passage 
hither : once we were on the point of putting back, 
but finally we got here 20 hours after our time 
on the 1 9th. 

Everybody was overwhelmingly hospitable, from 
the Palace downwards : but as the balls, & small 
monotonous whist or tea-parties are wholly out of 
my line in this very very very small tittletattle 
place, & as moreover night walks from this side 
of the City to the other don't suit me, not to speak 
of late hours & a multitude of new & uninteresting 
acquaintance, I decline all visiting on the plea of 
health & antiquity or what not. The Woolfe's ' 

1 Mr. (afterwards Sir) Henry Drummond Wolfe was appointed 
Secretary to Sir Henry Storks, the Lord High Commissioner, in 
May, 1860, after the departure of Sir George Bowen. 



have very amiably asked me several times : they 
seem very & justly popular ; but the only point 
at which Greeks, Germans, French, Italians, & 
English in such a place as this, can amalgamate 
being balls & the smallest of gossip this tone of 
social life bores me even more than total loneliness 
tho' that is very bad for me I know : only the 
alternative is wusser. The Sargents 1 seem nice 
people, but they live remote. The Colquhouns 2 
are remote & less nice by report. The Palace 
is dull : no lady : the dinner there of 1 2 was as 
all dinners are. The General is going, & what I am 
sorry for, Lady B[uller], she being one of the nicest 
women here. 

What I find queer here is the extreme Toryism 
of all parties, except Sir C. Sargent. (You will 
remember that the swells here are so by a Tory 
ministry.) Yet it sounds queer to hear the revolu- 
tion in Italy spoken of sometimes with horror, some- 
times as merely an absurd phase of politics soon 
to pass by ; though on consideration, you can easily 
suppose that any such a word as "nationality" must 
be odious to the ears of all Govt. parties and 
you can easily conceive that the R. C.s native & 
English have a tower of strength in the P[ope]s 
consul & that they believe in the speedy extinction 

1 Sir Chas. Sargent, member of the Supreme Council of Justice 
of the Ionian Isles, 1860, in the place of Sir J. Reid. 

* Sir Patrick M'Chombaich Colquhoun, Chief Justice of the 
Ionian Isles, 1861, in the place of F. Lushington. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

of V[ictor] Efmmanuel,] & the restoration of the 
Roman States to Pio IX. There is a movement 
among the Jews also for "representation" (! ! ! ! !) 
at which both Greeks & R. C.'s foam & scoff. 

Meanwhile the society is far less amalgamated than 
in former years, when such old resident & reputed 
families as the Reids Gisbornes Cortazzis & others, 
made a nucleus of social life, or when so intellectual 
a man as F. Lushington had a table & house. And so, 
the aspect spiritual of this little piggywiggy island is 
much as a very little village in Ireland would be 
peopled by Orangemen & papists & having all the 
extra fuss & ill-will produced by a Court & small 
officials more or less with or against a resident 
crowded Garrison. 

The aspect material meanwhile (with which I 
have most to do tho' unhappily no man can be 
quite independent of the others,) is so far as climate 
& country goes, lovelier than ever. Yet seeing it 
has never rained since April last, & that it is 
now daily perfectly clear & fine the wise anticipate 
3 months rain at once & continual. For myself I 
must get through this winter as well as I can, the loss 
of my dear Ann, & also of Lushington as a resident 
here, being a great weight to bear. 

Many things here amuse me to hear, but there is 
no time to write now : nor could all the Gladstone- 
Young details be written down if I had. One of 
Henry Bowen's brothers commands one of the 
Regiments but he & the Govt. are not on " terms " 



Morier's brother-in-law Major Peel, 1 is an A.D.C. 
Old Lady (Heber) Valsamachi, still lives lingeringly. 
The whole affair of " lonianism " appears to me 
absurd & ill-conditioned : an impossible end tried 
for by impracticable means. Clark, the good chap- 
lain is still here : but I shan't go regularly to 
church, & if he sees the " Essays & Reviews " on 
my table me voila fini. Aubrey de Vere has just 
arrived which if I had to see him, would be a 
bore : but isn't. O ! if I could but come back to 
London, bringing with me the gold & blue & lilac 
& pink of the air, sun, hills & snow with me ! How 
is Mrs. Ruxton? The prison has been revolting 
lately & Lady Emily K[ozziris] 2 greatly disturbed. 
K. seems to be agreed on by all hands as more 
incompetent than ever. 

CORFU. 17 Dec. 1861. 

I was highly pleased to get your two letters yester- 
day, the Lord High C. having sent them to me 
promptitiously. Before now you will have received 
mine of the 3rd. I trust, though I don't think it was a 
very lively one. The present ephusion of my pen will 
be written in better sperrits, because I have got to 
work, & am working hard : moreover I got letters 
from Frank Lushington yesterday & also from the 

1 John Peel, fourth son of Lieut.-Gen. the Right Hon. J. 
Peel. He had served throughout the Crimean War, and was 
appointed Assistant Military Secretary at Malta in 1864. 

2 Her husband, Giovanni Kozziris, was Keeper of the 

209 P 

Letters of Edward Lear 

printer of the " Book of Nonsense " who tells me 
that Routledge & Warne have brought it out & that 
over 500 copies have been already sold. Please do 
what you can to encrease the sail by axing and talking 
about it. 

The room I have to paint in is A No. I looking 
out on Salvador & Seagulls : 25 feet long & 
made by me my total living room. This is a plan 

of the house, a rummy one 
enough as to shape. (CLO.. 
means windies. era. means 
greats or firy places. = 
means doors.) .... The 
only great annoyance to the 
house is, that like as in all 
Corfu houses you hear all the noises of every other 
inmate besides yourself: & the people over me, 
(Col. Maude,) tho' very amiable folk, are awfully 
noisy. . . . One of the best comforts of this place to 
me is the greater amount of daylight both in quality, 
and in number of ours. Fancy drawing out of doors 
till 5.5. P.M. as I did yesterday! as for the weather it 
is Paradise multiplied by 10 : tho 1 of course a flood 
of rain must needs come bye & bye. 

I like the Lord High who has asked me to dine 
twice, & once walked back from the One Gun with the 
landscape painter What I like in him is that he has a 
will besides brains, & has a soldierly & straight- 
forward manner quite trustworthy, & withal a proper 
setting forth of dignity. The Court is called dull but 



at least it is not like that of the Young Dynasty 
which was wholly a Dilettante affair & one always 
felt that the whole set were there for Lady Y.'s 
" amusement," & G.'s benefit. Sir John's vacillating 
manner & softness mustard & mulberries in a hash, 
are well replaced by the present Governor's qualities 
as far as a " worm " can judge, & I think he is well 
looked on by all certainly as a man of business there 
is but one opinion of him. . . . 

Meanwhile I am really delighted at the Petraja 
pleasing her [Lady Waldegrave] so much : & she 
could not have made me understand her liking of it 
more than by the comparison of it to my singing. 
You do not say if Mr. Harcourt's fall l was a fit or a 
mere slip of the foot. 

I had not heard of Lady Canning's 2 death, & I am 
on account of those who survive her, most sorry for it. 
It seems to me most especially sad, that after such a 
terrible trial as her Indian residence has been, neither 
Lord C. nor poor Lady Waterford,3 nor Lady S. de 
Rothesay should be permitted to benefit by her return 
home an event till now so nearly in view. To me, 
either in Rome many many years ago, or at Osborne 

1 On his return with Lady Waldegrave from their continental 
trip, Mr. Harcourt had a serious fall at Folkestone, which 
shortly afterwards resulted in his death. 

3 Wife of the first Viceroy of India. She was the eldest 
daughter of Lord Stuart de Rothesay. 

3 A sister of Lady Canning's. Her husband, the third 
Marquess, was killed in a hunting accident in 1859. Her gifts 
as an artist were of a very high order. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

House, or afterwards again at Rome, or after that in 
London, Lady Canning was always exactly the same 
kindly consistent, & pleasant woman : unspoiled, tho' 
having enough admiration for 20 fine ladies, & full of 
taste and intelligence & unostentatious goodness. 
With the worldliness & humbug of the L.s & the 
vulgarity of the G.s she was to my feeling most 
vividly contrasted : & I should think few persons 
would be more truly mourned. If you hear any 
particulars of her death let me know them. 

One thing is needful that Henry Grenfell sends me 
the dye-mentions of his picture of Philae * : I wish 
particularly to have time to paint it here, where the 
sunsets are capital : so please ask him to write the 
feat a niches in the next letter you send, which please 
the pigs may be soon. 

What my letters are to you I can't say, for I never 
read them over, but I believe they would be quite as 
fit to read 100 years hence as anybody elses naughty 
biography, specially when written off hand as mine are. 

I wish I had more time for Greek : if I had my way 
& wor an axiom maker & Lawgiver, I would cause it 
to be understood that Greek is (or a knowledge of it) 
the first of virtues : cleanliness the 2nd., and Godliness 
as held up by parsons generally the 3rd., O mi hi ! 
here is a noo table sicks feet too by 3 feet hate ! 
I shall dine at one end of it write at the other, & 
" pen out " in the middle. For gracious goodness 

1 Fortescue's of the same subject was painted earlier, but 
GrenfelTs was, I believe, when finished, considered the better. 



sake write ! & don't forget Grenfell's measure : nor 
to thank Lady W. for her message : nor not to cease 
adjuring people, especially Lord Shaftesbury & the 
Bp of Oxford to buy the Book of Nonsense : & 
O Lord! I forgot this horrid American war but I 
think more than enough of it. 

p.S. A. Tennyson has written an im : & also a 
small pome. 

The next letter from Fortescue announced 
the death of Mr. Harcourt. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU. 2gth December 1861 

Your letter of the 2Oth., came yesterday you may 
suppose with what interest I read it. So many deaths 
had occurred that no fresh one surprises me. So Nune- 
ham is at an end : & Carlton Gardens for the present. 
What a conflict of thoughts must you have just now 
The very best thing for poor Lady W. will be quiet 
& rest from the whirl of world at present. & do you 
in as far as you can promote that I wished to say so 
often during last season of theatres &c., but I did not, 
knowing that you felt all I could say without my saying 
it, & also that circumstances almost force certain 
conditions of life & cannot easily be changed. 

Now however, I do hope she will be quieter, for 
enough friends of the first order both of rank & mind 
as well as of heart, she is certain to have : and a long 
list of acquaintance leaves no after pleasure when they 


Letters of Edward Lear 

flit away. I shall be very anxious to hear of her, 
knowing well her vivid feeling of all that affects her 
singular life. Pray give her my kindest remembrance 
if you think it right to do so. I had begun a letter 
to her full of nonsense, but nonsense is not the order 
of the day, so it is torn up. 

Prince Albert's death is shocking. 1 Poor Queen ! 
If stability of thrones is for the benefit of peoples, & if 
the good life of Sovereigns conduces to the stability of 
thrones, then Prince Albert's death is to be mourned 
most deeply. 

Recalling past sayings reminds me that after I 
was at Osborne 2 I wrote down all the details of 
my stay there, & one was, that Prince Albert 
showed me all the model of the House, (then 
being built only,) & particularly a Terrace, saying 
" This is what I like to think of because when we are 
old, we shall hope to walk up & down this Terrace 
with our children grown up into men & women." 

Dr. William's trial by Dr. Lushington 3 interests me 
I do not think I shall write more now but go to 

1 He died quite suddenly on the i4th December, before the 
nation had time to realise that he was ill. 

2 This must have been when Lear was giving drawing lessons 
to the Queen. 

3 Dr. Rowland Williams, the Vicar of Broad Chalke with 
Bower Chalke and Alvedistone, near Salisbury, was one of the 
contributors to " Essays and Reviews." He was prosecuted by 
the Bishop of Salisbury for heterodoxy and tried before the 
Arches Court of Canterbury, December 19, 1861, to January 16, 
1862. By judgment delivered in June, sentence of suspension for 
one year was passed ; but this judgment was reversed in 1864. 



Church & assist at the worship of false gods, (beside 
your's & mine.) 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 

CORFU. 5//z., January 1862. 

letter to you, which I am now most glad I never 
finished & sent before I received one from C. 
Fortescue, dated the 2oth. & 21 St., for in that he 
told me of what had then just happened, the death 
of Mr. Harcourt, the day after I had written to F. 
making enquiries as to his health since his fall at 
Folkestone. I now take another sheet to write to you, 
since it seems to me that any sympathy may be 
welcome to you just now, for I feel certain that not 
only the loss of Mr. Harcourt must have greatly 
agitated you, but that you will feel it deeply for a long 
time. Even to me, the news came as a surprise, for I 
thought he might have lived many more years, & I at 
once remembered how, at Nuneham, on his last 
birthday but one when I had wished him " many 
happy returns of the day " he had said, " When you 
make those congratulations to one of my age, you 
should leave out the word many" And it appears to 
me that this sudden breaking of a close tie must have 
affected you particularly : for in spite of the difference 
of age & of your natural dispositions, death, after a 
union of many years, must assuredly keenly affect the 
survivor of two, when, as I know to be the case with 
your's, the nature of the one left is full of warmth & 


Letters of Edward Lear 

truth. So, I shall be very glad to hear that your 
health is good, & that by a time of quiet, you are 
gradually feeling this sudden shock less, I cannot but 
think too that it is a great thing for you to be able 
to look back on the last years of Mr. Harcourt's 
life as happier than those earlier (at least they 
seemed so to me even since I knew him,) and in the 
last journey of this Autumn, C. F. told me Mr. H. 
had repeatedly said he had never enjoyed himself 
so much. Moreover, the feelings which many of 
his family have for you, must alone be a source of 

For Mr. Harcourt was always personally more than 
usually kind to me, & at present I can call up 
numerous recollections of him at all 4 houses, & none 
but pleasant ones. How pleased I am now that you 
have the two Nuneham pictures ! As well as that of 
Petraja where you so lately were together. (And bye 
the bye I ought to thank you about the payment for 
that, & to tell you how extremely pleased I was to 
know you liked it so much.) It seems to me that in 
converting memories into tangible facts, recollections 
& past time as it were into pictures, lies the chief use 
& charm of a painter's life. (I'm sure if it isn't, I don't 
know where it is, for technical study & manipulation 
will always be a bore to me.) . . . 

I know you will not be displeased at my writing this 
letter the like of which you must have many of just 
now : & you need not read it, if you have (as I dare 
say you have,) much to do & think of: so long as 



you consider it to be written from a friendly motive & 
forgive its want of etiquette that is all I care about. 

Lear to Fortescue, 

CORFU. Janry., 8, 1862. 

I could not help sending a line, knowing well how 
she [Lady Waldegrave] feels the death, & I hope & 
believe she will take it for what it is intended to be 
As you say, (& as I think I have nearly said,) 
despite difference of age & nature, they lived so long 
& closely united that it must be a very different heart 
from Lady Waldegraves that would not feel the sudden 
breaking of the tie most keenly. I imagined she 
would go to Dudbrook r & almost wished she had 
not, only because the clay soil & damp is so chilling & 
trying in winter. I shall gladly hear how she is, as soon 
as you can tell me. All you have said of her in this 
last, is extremely interesting. She did all possible to 
make his (Mr. Harcourt's) life a happy one, & it 
certainly was happier as he grew older. She cannot 
have any retrospections of neglect or want of affection 
for him, but on the contrary many consolations arising 
from having singularly done a wife's duties, always 
looking at their different tempers & other circum- 
stances of life. Mrs. Malcolm is a duck. 

As for you, my distinct opinion is that you have 
much contributed to the happiness of both Mr. H. & 
Lady W. in many ways ; as to producing more regula- 
tion of her mind by prompting cultivation, & as to that 

1 Her house in Essex. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

reflecting again on his life. I can well enter into all 
your feelings & how your mind is full of memory- 
images of all these years. Try your utmost now to 
prevent her ever embarking again full sail in a 
London fashion-life million-cardy surface existence : 
as I said before, she will always have enough first rate 
intimates to create more than sufficient society, & may 
be an A. No. i. leader without the need of a multitude 
of followers. I shall long to hear more. 

I don't see why Lord C[arlisle] should regret you 
not being Chief Secry. Does he Lord C., wear his 
trousers buttoned over his waistcoat as H. B. 
used to draw him ? However, he is a very 
good man really. (I did not expect you to 
have seen the " Nonsense," which poor book 
has come into a world of sadness : but you 
may buy & give a copy to Arbp. Cullen, 1 one to 
Sir Thingummy the M.P. for Dundalk 2 & one to 
the O'Donaghue.) 3 

Fortescue to Lear. 


nth January, 1862. 

.^ . . I have been hearing constantly from Dudbrook 
from Ward Braham, and two or three times from my 
Lady herself. She has been and is very wretched 
her spirits completely broken, and missing him who 

1 The Archbishop of Dublin. In July he founded the Catholic 
University of Ireland at Drumcondra. 
a Sir Geo. Bowyer. See footnote, p. 165. 
3 M.P. for Tipperary. (All three zealous Roman Catholics.) 



has been her companion for the last fourteen years ex- 
tremely far more so than other people would believe. 

. . . Before I end this, I must ask you a serious 
question, which no other living human being can 
answer except yourself, and I much doubt that you 
can. I do it at the request of a first cousin of mine, a 
certain Mrs. Tisdall, whose children have been feast- 
ing upon the " Book of Nonsense," viz. : "Did the 
lady in the last picture fall or will she fall on her 
face, or her back ? " The latter way of falling is 
supposed to be the most ladylike but my fair cousin 
doesn't say so. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU, 21. January, 1862. 

In reply to your question about the Lady of Clare 
I will ask Dr. Phillimore or some one of deep thought 
for I do not myself know what that curly burly 
woman ended in : but I was disgusted at the 
Saturday Review Dec. 21. talking of the Non- 
sense verses being ' ' anonymous, & a reprint of old 
nursery rhymes," tho' they gave " Mr. Lear credit 
for a persistent absurdity." I wish I could have all 
the credit due to me, small as that may be. 

I wrote to you on the Qth., & to Lady W. also. 
All you tell me of her is very interesting, & will 
become of course more so. It is a period of your 
life immensely pivotty & absorbing. Yesterday Capt. 
Vernon called, an apparently nice fellow rather, tho' 
with somewhat of the semi-ungainliness & hardness of 
that branch of the family. He spoke of Lady Selina 


Letters of Edward Leai 




J5 5, 2 

a 3 05 

S -5 

03 *. . 










C4n 2 

O r<3 


I" 9 
>* c 





[VernonJ, 1 & of Lady W. of the latter in a way 
which pleased me very much & was an antidote 
partly to a letter I had had 2 days before, in which 
Lady W. was spoken of so as to put me in a rage 
only I knew exactly from whom the illnatured non- 
sense was derived. It is enough that Mrs. Malcolm 2 
& Lady Selina, of those who saw Lady W. most 
intimately, are the best friends in speaking of her : 
the others may all go & be bothered. 

Franklin Lushington is married to-day.3 Of my 10 

original friends (No. 3 

1. W. Nevill. . 

__ being dead) only num- 

2. Bernard Husey Hunt. . _ ' 

_ . TT . bers 8 & 10 remain 

3. Robert Hornby. . , _. _. , . 

. TT _ , single. Nos. i & 6 being 

4. Battersby Harford. .... ^.7^ T 

_ ' viddies. JJtdn t 1 read 

5. John Cross. _. . , , T 
* _ TT _, Fitzstephens speech: I 

6. S. W. Clowes. . - _ 

/-u i TV/T /-u u am on thorns for Dr - 

7. Charles M. Church. _ , r . . , n . , 

^ _ L s ushington s judge 

8. C. Fortescue. % J J , 

_ T . . ment, & 1 see they are 

o. r. Lushington. . . . 

TTT TT , bringing another suit 

10. W. Holman Hunt. , 

against another author.4 

Quem Deus these priests will be swept away. 

Next week Miss GoldsmidS comes what the fine 
& pious world will say to a live Jewess remains to 

1 Widow of his eldest brother and daughter of the third Earl 
of Clanwilliam. 

2 Sister of Mr. Harcourt, Lady Waldegrave's husband. 

3 To Miss K. M. Morgan. 

< Referring to the prosecution of contributors to the l< Essays 
and Reviews." 

s Daughter of Sir Francis Goldsmid. See footnote, p. 183. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

be seen ; what does it matter that she is good, 
sensible, accomplished, & handsome ? If she don't 
believe in the supernatural attributes birth, &c.,&c., 
of course she must go to 'L. 

Col. Maudes people, over me, are amiable, the 
Decies (she a Miss Prescott r ) are very nice. 
The Sargents & Woolffs I go to at times. One 
Luard which I made drawings when I was 16 
for his grandfather who was very kind to me I 
am delighted to find here, as he is a superior youth, 
& polyarchaiotopochromsgraphical in his tastes : so I 
axes him to dine & "pen out" all the evening. 

(The woes of painters : just now I looked out of 
window at the time the 2nd were marching by I 
having a full palate & brushes in my hand : whereat 
Col. Bruce saw me & saluted ; & not liking to make a 
formillier nod in presence of the hole harmy, I put up 
my hand to salute, & thereby transfered all my 
colours into my hair & whiskers which I must 
now wash in Turpentine or shave off.) 

Why don't Grenfell write ? If you are asked ever 
about that Book of Nonsense, remember I made all 
the verses : except two lines of two of them Abruzzi 
& Nile. I wish someone would review it properly & 

I have no fresh Americain news : from Otago, where 
my nephew, C. H. Street is Sub-treasurer at 3$o 
per annum, my sister writes gold is making immense 

1 Daughter of W. G. Prescott, the banker of Threadneedle 
Street, I believe. 



changes. C. S. will I suppose make his fortune. 
I was much distressed by next door people who had 
twin babies & played the violin : : but one of the twins 
died, & the other has eaten the fiddle so all is peace. 
General Duller goes in a week. Sir John Inglis 
comes. I will stop for a time & finish this if a tall 
tomorrow. E. L. 

2T>rd., I heard yesterday from my sister Ellinor, who 
has heard from St. Louis. My brother Fred K. is " on 
General Prices staff" whatever that may mean : his 
only son Frank a Lieut, in the same army which 
is " surrounded by the Federal Army " the writer 
Frederick's wife's sister, writes in dreadful terror & 
sadness. They have however received two batches 
of money I have sent in letters in notes : Were 
the correspondence good, much might be learned of 
Missouri &c., but they write " religiously " & franti- 
cally. I beg you will endeavour to abolish sham 
religion when you are a Minister. 

2nd Feb., 1862. 

I want to hear more of Lady W. I hope she did 
not dislike the letter I wrote. I heard abroad that 
she wished to marry the C[omte] de P[aris] to the 
daughter of the Parma people r & that she was a 
great friend to all the B[ourbons] : & the A[umales] 
will gladly enlist her interest & house as a help to 
them. That they should be friends is natural & right 
but that she should in anyway assist that effete & bad 

1 Princess Marguerite, daughter of Charles III. of Bourbon, 
Duke of Parma, who died 1854. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

lot as a sovereign family to future power would 
be vexatious to all who know & like her. A year 
& a half ago I told her she had been wrongly 
informed as to the state of Naples (Kingdom) : she 
however was sure that the B.'s were well looked 
on in the province. Yet Garibaldi's march from 
Reggio to the Capital must have settled that 

The P[rince] of W[ales] is to be here in two or 
three weeks I suppose only passing : Arthur P. 
Stanley I see by the papers is to be with him 
who, though no courtier, is exactly the man for such 
a place : & his nomination to it greatly pleases me. l 
Alas! for my visit to Jerusalem! shall I ever get 
there? (I should not like to go with the Royal 
party tho' nine league boots & all restraint.) 

Sir H. S. Storks is particularly kind to me. He is 
a well-bred man & fitted in all respects for his place it 
seems to me. I discover by degrees why the military 
don't like him * he is only a Colonel in the Army 
ergo Generals & Colonels don't like to be under 
him : But, so far as I can learn, their small pro- 
vocations have been only necessarily interfered with 
by him. I never saw society so disjointed and dis- 
hevelled as this is nowadays. 

Miss Julia Goldsmid has come with a friend 

1 The Prince of Wales went on a tour to Egypt and the East 
from February to June, 1862, and Arthur Stanley, at this time 
examining chaplain to the Bishop of London, accompanied 



Mrs. Nay lor. (I got them rooms in a new Hotel, 
the other part of which is taken by Kozziri & Lady 
Emily.) Miss G. had determined I find, not to go to 
the Synagogue here, & had she not done so, I 
should have deterred her if possible from going 
there. For as the Jews here are all of the lowest 
orders, the advent of a Lady might have brought 
" Confusion on the little Isle." O Lord ! I must 
take Mrs. Naylor to church this afternoon : 

I dine at Woolffs today which may or may not be 
"a bore." Mrs. W. is a clever little woman very: 
(I remember you used often to bully me for being 
" easily bored " by people : but when one reflects 
you yourself are most singularly hedged in & 
unapproachable by all but a very limited set & 
class : (no fault of yours I only wish I could be 
so too:) "Moral" you, avoiding various disagree- 
ables in men & things cannot justly blow me up 
for disgust at not being able to avoid said disagree- 
ables.) (As a point of illustration, Lord E. B. 
is here deaf, & to me a frightful bore. But to the 
unsensitive, he, being a Lord, & " affable & talks so 
much!" is "a delightful man"!) 

I am on thorns for Dr. Lushington's decision about 
Williams. Should Williams be condemned, I think 
you will not be surprised by my openly becoming a 
Unitarian some day : for if Popes & Parsons are 
to sit on our brains, it behoves them as has any to 
stir, & show they have not succumbed to the chains 
of Priesthood altogether. Do you read the National 

225 Q 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Review ? Do you not think that there will be war 
with Yankeedom even yet ? Mrs. Tennyson's letters 
are a great pleasure to me. My old friend W. Neville 
(of Gresham St.) has taken Sir T. Laurences house 
in Russell Square : I always used to wish for that 
myself. At present my only wish is that these 
accursed Rats were away, & that Col. Maude 
wouldn't bump his chair over my head so. The 
old General I is going to leave Corfu, & the new, Sir 
J. Inglis, 2 is just a-coming. Count G. Henchel von 
Donnersmarck his name is not quite long enough 
has come back : he is the delight of most as he talks 
unceasingly & in a completely monotonous voice : to 
me he is the deadliest of bores, tho' not bad as a man 
I daresay. Is not perpetual talk idealess prattle 
the utmost of bore ? 

I am feeling to begin to wish not to come to 
England this year : but two months will decide. 
Keeping up rooms in London & two long journeys 
are certain expenses, pitted against what are very 
uncertain gains. There is a man in a boat here 
under the window who catches fish all & every 
day with a long 5 pronged fork : a waistcoat & 
drawers being his dress. Why should I not do 
the same? 

1 Sir George Duller, K.C.B., served in the Kaffir War 1846-7, 
and commanded a brigade at the battles of the Alma and Inker- 
mann, and continued to serve at the siege of Sevastopol, 1855. 

a Major-General Sir John E. R. Inglis, K.C.B., Colonel of the 
32nd Foot. He earned lasting renown by his gallant defence 
of Lucknow in the Indian Mutiny, 1857. 



CORFU, 16 Feby. 1862. 

I am much pleased that Lady W. liked my letter : 
to have given her a mite of pleasure is something. 1 
As you say, such phases of life are " not meant to be 
banished as dreams, but to influence life & character 
for good '." And again, I agree with you that no con- 
ceivable position of life ought to be blotted from 
memory if it could be. 

I delight in the knowledge of Lord & Lady Cler- 
mont constantly enjoying my pictures : they are a 
placid duck-like couple, & I like to hear of their life. 

Bye the bye looking into last years journal (I 
generally compare years,) I find on Sunday, 
Feb. loth., 1 86 1 "4<Dscue breakfasted with me, & 
staid 2\ hours. His society is always, I think in- 
variably a great comfort to me, & even my bore- 
ability & fastidious worry can hardly ever find any 
vexation therefrom, which I think I cannot say of 
that of any other living man." There Sir! I fear 
that's what you can't say of me tho' ! My journal 
will be funny enough 100 years hence tho' I only 
write down what is shortest & most personal. 

Twice I have walked out with Miss Goldsmid & 
her friend Mrs. Naylor : Miss G. has all the talent 
of her race, & is very amiable. But Lord ! Lord ! 
how slow they walk whereby I freeze & sneeze. 
Once I have dined there yea twice ; & the even- 

1 Of this letter Lady Waldegrave said : " He writes just the 
right things to me, but a man who sings like that must under- 
stand other people's feelings." 


Letters of Edward Lear 

ings were pleasant apart from Garrison gossip, & 
full of intelligence & agreableness. On Saturday 
the 8th., salutes announced the New General's 
arrival, Sir J. & Lady Inglis 1 & family not to 
speak of endless furniture, & on the same day more 
salutes recorded the departure of Sir G. & Lady 
Duller "so the old order giveth place to new" 
I am sorry not to see Lady B. again, as I liked her. 
On the loth, came the Capt. Geoffry Hornby 2 
suddingly his ship the Neptune having come from 
Malta. An odd rush of other day memories came 
to me on seeing & hearing him : but unless he 
dines at Major de Veres 3 today I am not likely to 
see or hear him much. 

Letters have been aboundigle : Mrs. Tennyson 
sends me those truly beautiful & grand lines of 
Alfred, as the dedication of the Idylls to P. Albert's 
memory : I hardly ever read anything lovelier. That 
duck also sent me an immense account of Frank L.'s 
wedding. Meanwhile the Osborne has gone past 
here for the P. of Wales whom they expect on 
Thursday the 2Oth., (I am sorry to hear A. P. 
Stanley does not come with him.) no one seems to 
know how long he stays. I do not think I shall 
put myself forward at all for you know Artists, 
unless R.As., never go to Royal Levees in England. 

1 A daughter of the first Lord Chelmsford. 
a Second son of Lear's old friend, Admiral Sir Phipps Hornby, 
of Littlegreen. 

3 Major F. H. De Vere, fifth son of Sir Aubrey De Vere. 



So E. B. is to marry Lord S. : I wish he would 
present her with my Masada, as she went up to the 

There are a Mr. Lair, a Mr Luard, a Mr. Layer, 
& a Mrs. Lien, here : may they meet with the reward 
due to having names so beastly like mine ! 

The Elections are over, of which you will probably 
know more than I. 

My new Gallery contains (tho' none are complete 
& tho No 9 is not there at all yet,) No i a large 
Corfu begun in 1856 No 5 a smaller. 7 ditto 
8 ditto : (respectively 200, 100, 50 & 30 guineas) 

The last is I think sold to a Major Reynolds : the 
first a wealthy Mrs. Fort seems to desire. 2 Mt. 
Athos for Sir F. Goldsmid. 3. Florence for F. 
Fairbairn. 4. Turin & the Halps. 6 Lake of 
Butmito (also is in possible way of sale for 50 

I have been looking carefully over all A. Tenny- 
son's poems, & noting out all the Landscape-subjects 
once more which in all amount to 250. Sometimes 
I think I shall make the last effort of my life to illus- 
trate the whole of these by degrees & finally, having 
constructed a gallery near London, receive shillings for 
the sight of my pictures, & expire myself gradually 


Letters of Edward Lear 

in the middle of my own works, wheeling or being 
wheeled in a Narmchair. Intanto do you see the Book 
of Nonsense on all Railway Bookstalls ? I shut up. 

The reference to Miss B is explained 

in a letter of Fortescue's dated the 2ist of 
February, in which he says : 

Are you aware that one Miss B is gone 

turned into Lady S ? Of course you are. 

Do you know how it happened? The B book 

was severely handled in the Athenaeum. Miss B. 
wrote to the Editor, requesting to know the author of 
the critique, that she might convince him of his 
injustice, etc. Soon after, Lord S., whom she had 
never seen before, walked into her room, announced 
himself as her assailant, came again, etc., etc. Let us 
charitably hope that he has since done her justice 
in every way. 

Lear must have been misinformed about 
Arthur Stanley's movements, for Fortescue 
also says : 

... I saw Arthur Stanley in this room . . . the 
day before he started to join the Prince at Alexandria. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU, 6 April, 1862. 

I am not able to write well being far behind with 
many letters, and having been seriously incon- 



venienced in many ways by the act of moving 
upstairs into the third floor of this house (at length 
I have got some quiet !) and by having been obliged 
to inhabit a small room for a week, out of good nature 
because the paint in another house was not dry, and 
the parson, living where I now do, did not like to 
budge. . . . 

I have had an extremely nice letter from Ly. W. 
Please thank her. Some rhinocerous beetle had told 
her I thought Dudbrook unhealthy. Of course I hear 
enough of her marriage and by some am pumped 
sufficiently : at present I hear either Marquis of Bath 
or Duke of Devonshire are the favoured chances ! ! I 
believe myself that things will all go rightly but shall 
nevertheless hear gladly if anything occurs, as at 
times I fuss. . . . 

Possibly the Cedars may sell whereby joy will 
arise in the Landscapepainter's buzzim. . . . 

A letter from H. Hunt is sad telling me of poor 
Egg's I house being burned. 

14 April, 1862. 

W[olff] knows as little of me as may be, beyond 
that he and Mrs. W. have been very good in asking 
me there, and that I have not gone. You can well 
guess that sudden intimacies with a crowd is not al 
mio gusto. He is a good enough little fellow, but too 
rdpandu and superficial to please me greatly, though 
not more so than is just the thing for his place here, 

1 Augustus Leopold Egg, the painter. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

and they are very properly highly popular. He can- 
not do without society and it is not easy to find out 
at first how much men like you who ask odious and 
vulgar people just as they do oneself more by way of 
having someone to break the life of monotony here 
than from really esteeming one. After a while how- 
ever, they asked me in a different way, and were 
really very friendly, but he is right in saying that I 
have not been in good spirits. The occupation of my 
life a daily journal to my sister Ann, is gone : and 
constant losses of friends do not enliven (bye the bye, 
Mrs. Stanley is gone, 1 and now, poor dear Mr. F. 
Beadon 2 : well if George Clive recovers. 3 . . . 
So far written, Peel comes to say goodbye Mrs. 
R. Morier's brother. And so I sit down again, but 
my thread of thought is broken as the spider said 
to the housemaid. Sir H. K. S. has been particularly 
amiable to me always, and all through. I wish you 
had come to Malta and up here ! ! only I am in a 
constant fever to hear more of Ly. W. I am glad 
she is going to C. Harcourt's, and am sure she will 
see much of some of that family always Mrs. M., 
&c., &c. No one shred of work having been pur- 
chased here, I have come to the end of my 
money. . . . Fairbairn's, Sir H. Goldsmid's, and 
Grenfell's pictures must therefore be finished being 

1 Arthur Stanley's mother. 

2 The Rev. Frederick Beadon, Rector of North Stoneham, 

3 G. Clive had had a seizure of a paralytic nature. 



sent on to England and I must work there to 
finish Turin and other pictures, hoping to sell them. 
The worry of being so without ready money bores 
me continually. I go to Paleocastrizza tomorrow 
for a week but the weather is quite peculiar dull 
heavy scirocco always and I am all aweary of my 
life. Whether I shall ever brighten up I can't tell 
probably not, as I am 50 next May. 

Here's a bit of news to wind up with. After I had 
written the letter which encloses this, I heard a great 
noise, and saw 4 carts full of furniture, all being 
brought into this house proceeding which disturbed 
me with fears of being less quiet seeing that a 6th 
added to the 5 families in this house, would not add 
to my peace. So I asked a servant going upstairs 
(G. being out) what the row was. "It comes from 
Kozziris," says the man. " Mrs. K. is going to leave 
him and come and live here." I said nothing, but did 
not believe it : the Lord 4bid such a thing should 
happen. But when George came, says he " these 
things are to be sold by auction, for Sig. Kozziris is 
going to leave his " Posto " as keeper of the prison, 
and they are going to England, where they say 
Signora Kozziris is of a familia grande e ricca assai 
and will keep him. 1 

1 It will be remembered that Lady Emily Kozziris was a 
daughter of the second Earl of Clancarty. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

EASTER SUNDAY. April 20, 1862. 

I wish you were here for a day, at least today : 
only that you are at " Red House," which is properer 
and Abercrombier. I have been wondering if on the 
whole the being influenced to an extreme by everything 
in natural or physical life, i.e., atmosphere, light, 
shadow, and all the varieties of day and night, is a 
blessing or the contrary and the end of my specula- 
tions has been that "things must be as they may," 
and the best is to make the best of what happens. 

I should however have added "quiet and repose" 
to my list of influences, for at this beautiful place there 
is just now perfect quiet, excepting only a dim hum of 
myriad ripples 500 feet below me, all round the giant 
rocks which rise perpendicularly from the sea : which 
sea, perfectly calm and blue stretches right out west- 
ward unbrokenly to the sky, cloudless that, save a 
streak of lilac cloud on the horizon. On my left is 
the convent of Paleokastrizza, and happily, as the 
monkery had functions at 2 a.m. they are all fast 
asleep now and to my left is one of the many peacock- 
tail-hued bays here, reflecting the vast red cliffs and 
their crowning roofs of Lentish Prinari, myrtle and 
sage far above them higher and higher, the 
immense rock of St. Angelo rising into the air, on 
whose summit the old castle still is seen a ruin, just 
1,400 feet above the water. It half seems to me that 
such life as this must be wholly another from the 
drumbeating bothery frivolity of the town of Corfu. 



and I seem to grow a year younger every hour. Not 
that it will last. Accursed picnic parties with miser- 
able scores of asses male and female are coming to- 
morrow, and peace flies as I shall too. . . . 

Enough of myself for the present, only as one wants 
one's friends to write about M^zVselves, one goes and 
does likewise. I shall be anxious now every letter to 
hear something of your destinies though perhaps 
they must rather be talked of than written. 

A great drawback to these Islands is the once a 
week post : there is a tension and a vacuum for six 
days and a horrid smash of disappointment if the 7th 
brings nothing. 

I hope this summer we may get a quiet two or three 
days together, for I take it after a short time you, the 
last of the Mohicans, will cease also to be single, at 
least I hope so, though the fact of your doubling your- 
self would cut you off more from my intercourse. . . . 
In your old age I suppose you will be a minister, and 
won't go near Ireland, or I might settle to die at 
Flurry bridge or Dundalk (! !), and get good studies at 
Newcastle and Ravensdale. But I shall or should 
have a chapel of my own. Belfast Protestantism, 
Athanasian creeds, and all kinds of moony miracles 
should have no entrance there : but a plain worship of 
God, and a perpetual endeavour at progress. (Which 
reminds me of Tennyson's little poem of "Will," 
which I have been trying to translate, and part of 
which I send you. 

One thing, under all circumstances I have quite 


Letters of Edward Lear 

decided on cnrofyaaiaa aKp&ug l when I go to heaven 
"if indeed I go" and am surrounded by thousands 
of polite angels, I shall say courteously "please 
leave me alone ! you are doubtless all delightful, but 
I do not wish to become acquainted with you : let 
me have a park and a beautiful view of sea and hill, 
mountain and river, valley and plain, with no end of 
tropical foliage : a few well-behaved small cherubs to 
cook and keep the place clean and after I am quite 
established say for a million or two of years an 
angel of a wife. Above all, let there be no hens! 
No, not one ! I give up eggs and roast chicken for 
ever ! " which rhapsody arises from a cursed infernal 
hen having just laid an egg under my window, and 
she screeches ! O Lord ! how she screeches and will 
screech for an hour ! Wherefore, Goodbye. No more, 
dear friend, for at a screech I stop. 

avTog TOV biroiov 17 SeXeo-te iivat Svvara ! 
, aXXa cev Sa vwoQepei TroXu, 
i, aXXd Slv tfjuroptt va vtrotytpti aSticwp, 

A<m, TO ? irepiiraiyfJia TOV &apv<l>(i>vov Koapov Sev TOV KIVEI, 

Mrjrc oXa ra ^utytara KUjuara rrje Suoru^taf TOV TapaTTovv : 

"Oiroiog (ftaivETdi aic/ou>r?j/>iov Trfrpae, 

How, irepiyvpiafjitvov jue Sropv&wSeg a.KOV(Tfia, 

T<> v TTtXayov Sl^erat TJJV KVfiaTi^oixrav avytcpovaiv, 

S'aXX avTov, irov, Slv icaXjrpvwv fit^po 
qv Svvafjivv oujoavou-KaraSatvovro 

1 I unconditionally refuse. 


Kcti Travrore yVt a^evtcrrepog Sta irpaTTWfjitvov tyf 
'H, atyaXfJia TTOU (fratveTai ^apttv KOI a-uyyvwarov, 
icai oTroSaXXov aei, 
jg tva row biroiov ra (rr/^eTa arlicovrat 
Ilovovra etc afttrpov a/^uov, 
Kat Trajoa rtva KOTrtao-jUevrjv KaucrwSTjv yijv, 
OoXo/zaKjoav, Kara ^Xoyto-jUtvov SroXov, toow ! 
'H Troytg (T7rivSepi%i wcrav crtroc aXaroc 

tt? fiiav pvrtv TOV VTTfpCoXtKoO Souvow. 

It is needles to observe that I have not attempted 
to render the original (it is at the end of the volume 
of " Maud ") in verse, which if I had done, it would 
have been worse. Also, the first verse has been 
corrected by Sir C. Sargent : the second is still in its 
virgin absurdity. ... I vote you do not destroy my 
longer letters, leastwise till you get another of them, 
because if I died they would amuse you. Considering 
that little more than 6 years ago I didn't know a letter 
of the Greek alphabet, I think I might translate 
A. T.'s poems in some 10 or 20 or 50 years more. 

April 27. 

I returned here on the 22nd much the better for 
my stay etc rlv i^ox^v. 1 

... I wish I was married to a clever good nice fat 
little Greek girl and had 25 olive trees, some goats 
and a house. But the above girl, happily for herself, 
likes somebody else. 

1 My stay in the country. 

Letters of Edward Lear 

CASA na/xi/tt&torrt, LINE WALL, CORFU, 
May 7, 1862. 

At first I was rather alarmed about the " medium " * 
affair, for the mere going to those impostors and the 
attraction of continued conversation about them does 
a deal of harm, when those who go to see and return 
to talk are people of position whose example is 
sheepily followed by thousands of fools from Bel- 
gravian fools downward. But if you, Kinglake, 2 
Woolff and others speak as plainly as you write to me, 
then I believe good may come of these people being 
visited. That they are gross impostors, " trading " 
(as a good letter in the "Times" said some 
weeks ago) " on the affections and credulity of man- 
kind " I have no doubt : yet many do not think so ; 
and it should be the part of those who are wise, 
and who can suffer fools gladly (which I never 
can) to enlighten the Assy = masses who can't help 
themselves God not having willed them much 
brains, and priests having muddled the little they 
have. . . . 

A more gritty vexation is that I have done so little 
in Greek or in Greek topography this winter. Never- 
theless I shall bring away the most part of this Island 
I fancy. . . . Tomorrow I go out again to Lefchimo, 
and by the time I return thence I trust to hear how 

1 All London at this time was flocking to the seances of the 
medium Forster, so much so that the Times devoted a leading 
article to the matter. 

9 Author of the celebrated history of the Crimean War. 



my pictures look at the Gt. International Ex n J seeing 
that 2 R. Academicians had the hanging of them, i 
should tremble for their fate, were not one of the 
Commissioners Fairbairn my friend. 

May 17. ... On the I3th, (being half a century 
old the night previous) I came away and staid a day 
at KAojuw, 2 whence perhaps is the finest Channel and 
mountain view of all in Corfu. But I could not stay 
for certain reasons, and came in again on the 14 to 
Corfu. Alas ! there I learned a dismal fact, and one 
much interfering with my plans. The two last (bother 
them) Liverpool steamers have gone by here without 
touching ! ! ! so that my boxes are still here, and I do 
not know now if they can be sent off before July. 
What to do I know not, as I wholly depended on their 
being completed by that time in London, and on my 
having the money for them. I am for the present 
bewildered : and can only send $ to the subscription 
for the Lancashire poor spinners, on the principle that 
he that hath nothing is to give up what he hath. I 
am absolutely uncertain when I leave or what to do 
or why : or which : or whizzlepopps. . . . 

Both Holman Hunt and yourself have kindly written 
about my pictures both saying the same as to their 
being hung so high. Two R.A.'s having had to 
decide their destiny it is a great thing they were hung 
at all. ... I am in such an infernal rage about these 
pictures that I can't write any more. I fancy I shall 
give up Stratford Place this year. Do the Japanese 

1 Opened at South Kensington on May ist. a Klomo. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Ambassadors 1 want a Topographic Artist? I'll go 
back with them, and perform the " Happy Dispatch" 
if I draw badly. . . . We perceive the ancient Wolff 2 
is dead. Mrs. W. goes to England soon. She is a 
very clever little woman. With her is a nice Greek 
girl. When we meet a c Sa 6//tArjo-w^tv TroAu.3 

1 9th May 

I find the "Marathon" goes to-morrow, so I certainly 
can't go thereby. After all, 20 days at sea is a horrid 
loss of time. She takes to England (besides my 
pictures) old Lady Valsamachi Heber's widow to 
die there, I should think. 

Yesterday I went to church. Lord ! Lord ! what 
an idiotic sermon did good Craven preach about the 
next world, as how " many excellent men believed that 
we should not recognise anyone in the future state, 
because, if we were to do so, we should also perceive 
our friends alas ! great numbers of them ! tortured 
in the gulf of fire below as it is plain from Dives 
twigging" (he did not say "twig") "Lazarus in 
heaven above." Why are men allowed to talk such 
nonsense unsnubbed in a wooden desk, who would be 
scouted in an ordinary room ? 

1 The first Embassy ever sent by Japan to Europe came ovei 
this year to visit the Great International Exhibition. 

3 The Rev. Joseph Wolff, father of H. Drummond Wolff, of 
Hebrew origin, was the first modern missionary to preach to the 
Jews at Jerusalem. He styled himself "Apostle of our Lord 
Jesus Christ for Palestine, Persia, Bokhara and Balkh." 

3 I hope we shall meet often. 



The afternoon and evening I passed pleasantly with 
Col. and Mrs. Wynne ; he is a cousin of the Wynne 
who married Lady Clermont's sister, and she is a 
granddaughter of old Lady Clancarty whereby Lady 
E. Kozziris is her fust cuzzing. She told me a good 
story of that old lady tho' I fear you must know it. 
At the Clancarty hospitable dwelling vast numbers 
were gathered : and one rude fast youth who did not 
know the Lady of the house personally, dragged a 
portmanteau roughly upstairs and threw sticks &c. &c. 
about in the hall, saying " Why, this house is just 
like a hotel ! just like Betty Cuffe's ! " " But Sir," 
said the dignified and outraged Lady C. advancing 
to him " you do not seem aware that Betty Cuffe has 
a great advantage over the mistress of this mansion : 
she is not compelled to associate with those who come 
under her roof!" (Cubby collapsed). 

I beg to say, the weather is one continual, I say 
again, comtimmuel and never ending scirocco not a 
mountain visible for days past nor like to be till rain 
comes. I think therefore I shall start by the Ancona 
boat on the 5th, and risk the Italian fetes. The 
Thursday's debates ought to come today. 

2Oth. They did come, and I was delighted with 
Lord P[almerston]'s speech. A more wretchedly 
factious-crooked maunder than Dizzy's display would 
be found with difficulty. It does not even read as if 
it had been well spoken, whereas P.'s is all straight- 
forward bluff truth, and, I should fancy, must have 
been greatly worth hearing. 

241 R 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Wonderful to relate, I have packed up, and decided 
to go by the Liverpool steamer Marathon, which is 
expected to-day or to-morrow by Zante and Malta 
and to England about the icthor i2th I suppose. . . . 
So here's for the Island valley of Avilion : and therefore 
don't write again. 



May to November, 1862 


Lear to Fortescue. 

29 May 1862. 

HERE I am still on my way England wards. 
But how it comes that I turned out of the 
Liverpool steamer " Marathon " and have been here 
since Sunday I will now defulge. 

I went on board the " Marathon " on Tuesday the 
2Oth, believing she would start directly and go 
directly to Liverpool. But she didn't start till 
Wednesday, and then, arriving at Zante she staid 
two whole days there : and so, by degrees I heard 
it said that she would do ditto here, and at 
Messina, and at Palermo, and might reach England 
on the loth or I2th of June. Witch fax I only 
came at granulously as it were grain by grain, 
as the pigeon said when he picked up the bushel 
of corn slowly. Whereon said I to myself if 
so be as I can get my fare back again, I will 
even go ashore at Malta and see that much be- 


Letters of Edward Lear 

loved place and wait for a Marseilles boat thereby 
hoping to reach England before the 8th (and at a 
more convenient end, to wit, Newhaven or Dover), 
and meanwhile resting my weary lims on beds of 
hashphodil, and moreover escaping the chance of bad 
weather in the Bay of Biscuits and the Irish Channel. 

And to the honour and glory and pleasure of the 
Marathon be it said, they guv me back my fare 
cheerfully and have since gone on their way with the 
great lieutenant whom thou hast made to take his 
pastime therein. The ship was a good ship : amazingly 
comfortable and thoroughly well-conducted : active 
and intelligent stewards pervaded the scene : enormous 
and globular stewardesses permeated behind the 
scenes : the food was good and plentiful : the ossifers 
friendly and pleasant. But, if the ship encountered a 
sea o ! wouldn't she roll ! ! being in form like a cater- 
pillar, or right line length without breadth. The 
company was select and rather quaint. Besides the 
Landscapepainter, was the Lady of Sir Demetrius 
Valsamachi once the wife of Bp. Regd. Heber poor 
old lady ! she was really very amiable and pleasant 
when awake or well enough to talk but I am not 
up to talking much aboard ship. 

. . . [Here] I only find Legh of the old faces but 
Col. Curzon I of the Rifles has amiably found me out, 

1 Leicester Curzon, seventh son of Earl Howe, was A.D.C. to 
Lord Raglan in the Crimea. He was promoted to the rank of 
Lieut. -Colonel on bringing home the despatch announcing the 
capture of Sevastopol. 


Malta and England 

and Major Burke (Burke of Australian death -memory's 1 
brother) is also pleasant to know leastwise his sister 
is. And there is an Armenian traveller in the hotel ; 
and I draw constantly on the Barracca point meaning 
to paint a picture thereof one day ; and I wander up 
and down the beautiful streets of Valetta and Senglea ; 
and rejoice in the delightful heat and the blue sky ; 
and watch the thousand little boats skimming across 
the harbour at sunset, and admire the activity and 
industry of the Maltese ; and am amazed that their 
priests should consider that a constant ringing of bells 
should be any sort of pleasure to the Deity ; and I 
drink very admirable small beer plenteously from 
pewter pipkinious pots : and I have gone to church 
once, and have heard or rather couldn't hear a 40 
minute sermon from a detestable shrugging and howl- 
ing impostor ; and on the whole I may say with truth 
I am far happier than I might be or probably should 
be if still at sea. Remains the future ; 3 days and 3 
nights to Marseilles, and the long 20 hours of rail to 
Paris, and thence to Dieppe and Newhaven and 
the ojous unpacking of boxes whether to be well or 
ill accomplished is in the buzzim of the fewcher. . . . 
What a fuss I see in the papers about Woolner and 
Palgrave and J. Omnium ! 2 . . . Says I to myself I 

1 R. O. Burke, who set out from Melbourne in 1860 at the head 
of an expedition. He succeeded in crossing the continent of 
Australia, but on the return journey was starved to death in 
June, 1861. 

2 A violent correspondence in the Times about the Art Hand- 
book of the International Exhibition, by F. T. Palgrave, in which 


Letters of Edward Lear 

don't want no public praise nor blame nor nuffin : life 
is too short for such a lot of ugly anger. 

General appearance of a distinguished Landscape 
painter at Malta his hair having taken to a violent 
excess of growth of late. 

LEWES. 5 June 1862. 

DEAR 4OSCUE. I got here last night, having left 
Malta on Saturday May 31 I shall come to Stratford 
Place on Saturday the 7th. ... A monetary crisis has 
ensewed : inasmuch as I lost j on board the steamer, 
and when I got to Newhaven had only one shilling 
left, whereby a cousin of Cornwall Simeon's one 
Major Webber Smith lent me too pouns. . . . But 

he expressed his individual opinions very freely. His excessive 
praise of Thomas Woolner, the sculptor, was attacked on the 
grounds that they were close personal friends. His criticisms 
made the exhibitors so angry that he finally withdrew his hand- 
book, to the great relief of the Committee of the Exhibition. 


Malta and England 

your Irish "Agrarian murders" J are what worry me 
more than anything just now, tho' I do not know that 
you and your brother are in anywise endangered. 

In September, 1862, Fortescue's engagement 
to Lady Waldegrave took place, but it was 
received with some opposition on the part of 
certain members of his family. The announce- 
ment was not made for some little time, but 
he wrote to Lear the very next day as 
follows : 

Fortescue to Lear. 


19. Sept. 1862. 

You have the advantage of hearing today from 
the happiest man in Her Majesty's Dominions, 
including Heligoland and all the Colonies. Be it 
known unto you, oh friend, that I have acted upon 
G. Vernon's advice, except that I found it easier 
to ask the question on which my fate depended by 
writing than by speaking so wrote before I left 
Red House, and asked leave to come for the 
answer. Yesterday I arrived very soon discovered 
that I was the luckiest dog in the world, and have 
been half seas over with happiness ever since. 

1 The year 1862 was a time of severe distress in Ireland owing 
to the failure of the fuel and potato crops, and agitation against 
the landlords was rife in many parts of the country. The 
number of horrible murders and outrages that were committed 
in April and May, necessitated the holding of a Special Commis- 
sion to try the cases. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Lear to Fortesciie. 


21 September 1862. 

I am not surprised, but am at least easy on your 
account. I felt indeed quite as sure of what the 
issue would be as one could be of anything mortal. . . 

I will take care to be silent about the subject. It is, 
however, very much talked of by those who know 
the "parties" and I, as a friend of one, am probed 
and pumped. My reply has been all along "my 
own impression is that she is more likely to marry 
C. F. than the D. of Newcastle] " but no more. 

What an odd thing it is that you are officially acting 
under him. 1 . . . Well, you know better than I can 
tell you how pleased I am, and how much happiness 
I wish you. If you think proper you may give my 
love to the Lady ; but anyhow my very kindest 
regards. . . . 

In the lanes and hedges here Bishops are frequent 
Oxford, Cape Town and the deuce knows what. 


October yd, 1862. 

I am here working out Henry Riversdale Grenfell 2 
M.P.'s picture. The "Beachy Head" is a vastly fine 
subject, though it is painful to walk 5 miles over 

1 The Duke of Newcastle was Secretary of State for the 

2 Another of Lear's friends and patrons, Member for Stoke- 
upon-Trent. Afterwards a governor of the Bank of England. 
One of Fortescue's greatest friends. 


Malta and England 

loose stones to get at it. There are however two 
alternatives. i. to walk through the water ankle 
deep, amid limpets & periwinkles which scheme 
I tried once, but did not wholly like 2ly. to climb 
for one hour to the top of the Beachy Head & return by 
the Downs a scheme I also once carried through, 
and my trouble was so far rewarded that I made a 
sketch at the top, a fatty man in black standing on the 
horizon's edge serving as a "figure" in my drawing. 
Bye & bye the fatty man drew near, & admired 
my work suggesting that I had possibly been 
abroad, & asking me if I had read Mr. Lear's 
Albanian travels ; and on my saying yes, declared 
himself to be Sir Walter James's Butler, & that he 
had seen me in Whitehall Gardens, & concluded by 
offering me some porter & bread & cheese ; whereon 
I adjourned to the place he & his wife had selected, 
& enjoyed this improvised picnic very considerably. 
As you observe (not injudiciously) I am always finding 
acquaintances and friends a-doing me good. 

Write soon. Now that the big event of your life 
is decided, I can fancy you say what is there to write 
about ? Write upon prawns, rheumatism, Armstrong 
guns, Birds of Paradise or raspberry jam, so you 


$th October, 1862. 

What to do with the Cedars I do not know : 
probably make a great coat of them. To a philo- 
sopher, the fate of a picture so well thought of and 


Letters of Edward Lear 

containing such high qualities, is funny enough : for 
the act of two Royal Academicians in hanging it 
high, 1 condemn it first, and 2ndly the coldblooded 
criticism of Tom Taylor in the " Times," quasi- 
approving of its position, stamps the poor canvass 
into oblivion still more, without remedy. . . . 


17, Oct. 1862. 

Your party at Dudbrook seems a pleasant one 
bar the Royalties, which are always a bore to me 
more or less. ... I daresay it seems odd to you, 
but it is a part of my nature to grow tired of the 
" flaner " life very soon. Three days of it weary me : 
on the fourth, the senseless chick-chack of billiard 
balls makes me sick. The beaver, the Ant, the Bee, 
and suchlike brutes are my model communities. . . . 

Apropos of Grenfell, he has not as yet distinctly 
pledged himself to bring in the "Total Extinction 
of Irishmen " Bill, but we have been v in communica- 
tion about it. You would do well, (if you have time) 
to read a letter signed " an English R. Catholic " 2 
in today's " Times," as also the account of the Riots 
at Birkenhead.3 Punch should bring out a portrait of 

1 At the Great International Exhibition. 

2 Condemning Sir George Bowyer's letter to the Times of 
the i6th, in which he practically upheld the conduct of the Irish 
Roman Catholics in the Popish riots in Hyde Park. 

3 Some violent quasi-religious riots took place during this 
month, not only at Birkenhead but also in Hyde Park, between 
English Protestants and Irish Roman Catholics, the pretext 
being the meetings of the former to express their sympathy 


Malta and England 

old Wiseman exhorting the dear children "in the 
name of him who said ' they who use the sword 
shall perish by the sword ' " and in the background 
the Vicar of Christ paying Lamorciere and the cut- 
throats of Naples and Spoleto. 

The new book by the Bishop of Natal * will make an 
awful fuss among the Pharisees, and the resignation of 
Mr. Neville 2 is a step in the right direction. . . . 

Apropos of Corfu don't expect you have heard the 
last about the Judgeships :3 the Wolffs said little new, 
but I hear from other quarters that the manner of 
removal has been looked on as the most insulting 
and brutal, tho' I do not know if all said about 
the way it was carried out can be true indeed it 
hardly seems possible. Some tell me that the "great 
majority " are pleased, for, say they " any injustice and 
any stupidity on the part of our government is 

with Garibaldi, whom the Catholics looked upon as the emblem 
of hostility to the Pope. 

1 Parti, of "The Pentateuch and Book of Joshua critically 
examined," by Bishop Colenso, which gave rise to such fierce 
criticism that he was publicly excommunicated in Maritzburg 
Cathedral in 1866. 

2 The Rev. C. Nevile resigned his incumbencies in the diocese 
of Lincoln, stating in a letter to the Bishop, that he found it 
quite impossible to subscribe to everything in the Book of 
Common Prayer and the Thirty-Nine Articles, such as the 
Athanasian Creed, &c. 

3 Corfu was seething with indignation at this time over the 
removal of Marcoran andXidian,the two Ionian members of the 
Supreme Council of Justice by Sir Henry Storks, a step of 
which Lear afterwards acknowledged the wisdom. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

naturally a Godsend and a political capital to their 

I am glad you have good accounts from Ireland, 
and are happy yourself. If you can and gradually 
initiate a life of regular solid occupation and progress 
for your future conditions of life. It will make you 
far happier in the present and far more so also when 
you look back on that present after it has become 
Past, than any amount of whizzy pleasure can 
ever do. Don't turn up your nose. 1 I am 50 years 
old, and see a many men and lives, and ends and 
chains of lives which you don't and didn't and 
can't. If it pleased God to send you twins I should 
be easy. 

TUESDAY, 21 Oct. 1862. 

... I still maintain that Blasphemy and lying 
are the Prerogatives of Priestcraft ; or they would not 
say that the Almighty damns the greater part of his 
creatures. So far I agree with you that which they 
should preach (them there practical truths you elude 
to) is worthy of all love and veneration, but since 
as a body they have ever given the lie to such 
preaching by their dogmas and lives cui bono the 
preaching? Whereby though I sincerely like and 
respect many individually, I object to the whole 

The Chancellor 2 (I was there Saturday and 
Sunday) was delightful : such an abundance of 

1 " NOTE. I was hard at work at the Colonial Office. C. F." 

2 Lord Westbury (Sir Richard Bethell). 


Malta and England 

excellent conversation with a circle or with me 
only one seldom has the luck of getting. 

He Speaking of " undique sequaces " "sequax, 
and saying "let us remember the line and go and 
look for the translation," quoth the Landscape painter 
in a fit of absurdity, 

" My Lord I can remember it easily by thinking 
of wild ducks." 

" How of wild ducks Lear?" said the Lord C. 
" Because they are sea-quacks " said I. 

"Lear," said his Lordship, " I abominate the forcible 
introduction of ridiculous images calculated to distract 
the mind from what it is contemplating." 

The painter chuckled inwardly having from before- 
hand calculated on the exact result of his speech. 

About Dudbrook oe ojUtArjo-oj/uev avpiov, 

October, 1862. 

... I have written to Lady W. to say I cannot 
come to Dudbrook : it is no use trying on a plan 
which may by rain wind or cold turn out abortive 
by making me disagreeable to myself and my 
fellow creatures. 

I have also written to Lady W. to say, that all things 
considered, I give up the Chantilly : in November, in 
Paris, the chances are quite against my being able to 
draw out of doors at all. ... I write also to give up 
the Prescott's at Roehampton 2 from simmiler cawziz. 

1 Until we meet to-morrow to eat raw flesh. 

2 W. G. Prescott, a wealthy banker, of Clarence Villa, Roe- 
hampton, committed suicide 1865. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

I wish you would send me one line, just to say if I 
may send the Thermopylae to 45, St. James' Place. 
I do not see why you should not have the benefit of it 
for the 2 or 3 months you are there. Only don't 
leave it on chairs or sofas or broomstix : that 
proceeding always warps and strains canvas. . . . For 

on going away, I want to leave everything here in a 
pumptiliously exactual condition in case of death over- 
taking me abroad : and so I clear my rooms as far as 
I can. 

Lady Waldegrave to Lear. 


Oct. 26th. 

... I will postpone the Chantilly commission to 
another year, but I will go to you on Monday the $rd 
of November before one o'clock, to see if I can find 
any small picture which would suit the Duke 


Malta and England 

d'Aumale. 1 I will tell you de vive voix, that I am 
quite as happy as another of your warm friends. 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 

4/& November, 1862, 


. . .Admiral Robinson 2 who came when I was out, 
(he is a really good draughtsman himself,) says he 
thinks 4oscue's Thermopylae the best picture he has 
seen of Greece or any other place. . . . 

Many thanks for your kind wishes. It is not pro- 
bable however that my Ashmer will decrease, but 
rather the contrary until I go out with a puff. 

I went into the city today, to put the ^125 I got 
for the " Book of Nonsense " into the funds. It is 
doubtless a very unusual thing for an artist to put by 
money, for the whole way from Temple Bar to the 
Bank was crowded with carriages and people, so 
immense a sensation did this occurrence make. And 
all the way back it was the same, which was very 

x The fourth son of Louis Philippe, resident at Orleans House, 
Twickenham. He retired to England after the Revolution of 

3 Admiral Spencer Robinson, at this time Controller of the 
Navy. Afterward Sir Spencer Robinson. 



November, 1862, to March, 1863 

Lear to Fortescue 

Kao-o TlapafjivSioTTi : TO. 

30 Nov., 1862. 

I ONLY got your ancient and fishlike letter dated 
loth inst. 3 days ago, I myself having only 
arrived here on the 23rd. ... I didn't "go pretty 
straight to Corfu " au contraire, the road being 
broken up by torrents near Nice, I was obliged to 
go in a steamer to Genoa. (There was such a fat 
Cardinal on board, and didn't I get likenesses of him 
under the table !) Then I went to Ancona, but the 
Italian boats were postponed for a month, and so I 
had to wait for the small Trieste boat, which, coming, 
could not start for bad weather. . . . 

The interregnum of five days at nasty Ancona, was 
however, it behoves me to confess, made agreeable by 
the company of a really delightful party of officers, of 
which Gen 1 . Casanova who took the city with Cialdini 

1 Casa Paramuthiati, The Fort, Corfu. 


and Fanti I was head. The progress which all Italy 
is making astonishes even me, and I am often more 
and more confirmed in my opinion that L[ouis] 
N[apoleon] is right in keeping his troops at Rome. If 
you have a bad sore, needs must be that the body is 
more regularly ordered to keep it in health ; and the 
general organization of the peninsula goes on so 
a head, that the swallowing up of the papal power is, 
so it seems to me, only a question of more or fewer 
years. At Ancona, too, the De Vere's arrived on 
their way to Corfu. (He is a nephew of Ld. Mont- 
eagle's 2 she a sister of Burke the Australian 
explorer) and this was a blessing as they are the 
people I know here now most intimately. I never 
saw a face of more mental health and beauty as well 
as brightness though not perfectly regular features than 
hers and little Mary De Vere was a real Godsend to 
us all on board with her merriment and prattle. . . . 
I have also been going on with my long projected 
illustrations of Tennyson. . . . 

I can't write consecutively for phits of coffin. . . . 

A new General Sir R. Garrett 3 replaces Sir J. 
Inglis : he looks above 4,000 years old, tho' perhaps 
is not. Woodcox are expensive at present. In 
Cephalonia I hear that the sun of Xidian one of the 
removed Judges is elected by a great majority over 

1 Ancona was taken in 1860. 

a Lord Monteagle's only sister Mary married Sir Aubrey de 
3 He commanded the 4th Division before Sevastopol. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

the Government candidate. The whole thing is 
simply considered a clever intrigue on the part of 
Braila and Damaschino forced upon Storx in a 
Gladstonian sense (G. corresponds with the Brailas). 1 
And thus no one cares for it much, except that all 
parties seem to consider the manner of the act wholly 
unjustifiable. Poor old Sir George Marcoran bears it 
very well and with dignity : nevertheless to some 
friends he said, with tears in his eyes " I do not say 
replace me. I only ask for one valid reason for so 
gross a torto being used to an old public servant in 
whom no fault is named." But as I said every mind 
just now is full of the Greek affair. . . . Sometimes 
I think the titles here are really very absurd : take 
a list 

Sir Henry Storks 

Sir Robert Garrett 

Sir Henry and Lady Wolff 

Sir Patrick and Lady Colquhoun 

Sir Charles and Lady Sargent 

Sir Gregory and Lady Caruso 

Sir Philotheos and Lady Damaschino 

Sir Themistocles and Lady Zambelli 

Sir Aristides and Lady Braila 

Sir Demetrius and Lady Valsimachi 

Sir Demetrius and Lady Curcumell 

Sir Plato and Lady Platides 

1 Braila was the secretary to the Senate at the time of Mr. 
Gladstone's visit, and a supporter of British interests. 



Sir Karalambos and Lady Flamburiani, 
Sir Christopheros and Lady Kalikopolos Biletti 

after which last nothing but Sir Agrios and Lady 
Polugorill6foros is to be expected. But this same list 
sets forth a love of title in these people which indeed 
they are vain. . . . 

. . . Bye and bye I am going to ask you a quaps- 
fillious question : I mean to have the Cedars put into 
the ground floor room of 15 Stratford Place, and if so, 
do you think Lord Lansdowne might be asked to go 
and see it i.e. if you or someone could go with him 
and so that he could not speak of it to any R. 
Academician first, or they would not content with 
having placed it so ill prevent his buying it. The 
only drawback might be that the foolish landscape- 
painters Creswick and Redgrave might bust of rage 
which I should be sorry for brutes. 

All Greece seems voting for AX^t'So? x and could 
that happen the very best salve and guarantee for 
future peace and former ills would happen : but I 
fear it can't. Only I suggest let Prince Alfred rush 
here and be suddenly crowned (Your Government 

1 In October the whole of Greece rose in rebellion and 
deposed their incompetent German King Otho. Prince Alfred of 
England was chosen as their new sovereign by an overwhelming 
majority, but international reasons prevented his acceptance of 
the dignity. The choice then fell upon a Prince of Denmark, 
brother of our present Queen. It was at this time that pro- 
posals were first definitely made for the cession of the Ionian 
Isles to Greece. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

disowning it like the Nice and Savoy affair) and who 
can alter it ? Thereafter too, guarantees might then 
be guv to Turkey for behaviour, etc : I half suspect it 
will end so. 

Of society more another thyme. Of balls of 
moons of fish and other vegetables and of all future 
and past events as things may be. I have got a 
piano. Also a carpet. Also a tame redbreast : also 
a hearthrug and two doormats. . 

Dec. i. ... Here is a letter from Mrs. Clive : 
G. C. 1 has resigned and H. A. Bruce 2 is in his 
place. I hope B.'s health will serve him. Here we 
hear, that should P. Alfred finally be elected, and then 
be refused by England Gladstone is likely to be the 
next favourite ! ! ! ! Fancy Mrs. G. Queen of Greece ! 

I shall write to Mr. G. and ask him to make me 
P/owroe Z(irypa0oe,3 and Grand Peripatetic Ass and 
Boshproducing Luminary forthwith. 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 

CORFU. January i, 1863. 

Do you know anything of a young man called 
Chichester Fortescue ? I wrote to him a month ago, 
but have heard nothing of him at all at all, and my 
belief is that he is either full of business, or over head 
and ears in love, possibly both. If you should 
happen to meet him, please tell him to send me a line 

1 George Clive, Under-Secretary of State for the Home 
Department, resigned in November, on account of his health. 

2 Henry Austin Bruce, created Baron Aberdare, 1873. 

3 Painter Laureate. 



some day and you can also wish him a happy new 
year from me. I write this more particularly to wish 
you the same and that this may be the forerunner of 
many such. And for my own part I think you have 
a great and goodly prospect of happiness, please God 
that C. F. and yourself have good health : for I have 
never known anyone with more qualities to ensure 
happiness in his companions than Fortescue, I am, 
however, getting anxious to know when events are to 
come to pass, which news I suppose patience will tell 
me if I wait long enough. 

I should like to hear how the Duke D'Aumale liked 
the little picture of Philse. For the present I have 
done with oil-painting and have collapsed into degra- 
dation and small loand 12 guinea drawings calculated 
to attract the attention of small capitalists. ... I have 
very little to grumble at, saving that I grow so fat, 
which is horrible to think of and makes me miserable. 

nth January. The pighearted has written. And 
I have just been writing a long letter to him. He 
writes a capital letter, full of substance. His strong 
feeling for poetry, his natural good taste, his classical 
knowledge and wide reading are all portions of his 
character vastly interesting. But I am disposed to 
think that by constant attention he may also eventually 
attain a very high position as a Minister. As a 
speaker (tho 1 I never heard him) I do not imagine 
he would ever be in the first ranks but as a thinker, 
I believe he will. All that is going on now about 
Greece is immensely interesting to me ; and if there 


Letters of Edward Lear 

were a fixed and good government at Athens, I 
should probably ultimately live there entirely : winter 
in England never more I shall, and the double journey 
is getting too onerous for so old a cove as I am 
becoming. I wish that you and F. would come out 
here for a few weeks : it would greatly delight you, 
and in April would be charming. In midwinter the 
weather is too uncertain to allow the chance of a fort- 
night's visit nay, or a month's being satisfactory, 
for it rains poodles and pineapples at times. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU, nth January, 1863. 

O my eyes and little convolvuluses! If here isn't 
a letter sent by the Lord High a come from you, 
(a ninvitation to dinner following). 

My dear Fortescue, I didn't write before, know- 
ing how busy you must be, but I began to be in a 
fidget about the Irish side of the question, nor until 
Mrs. R[uxton] has seen Lady W[aldegrave] shall I 
be quite easy unless indeed the Aunt perceives by 
your altered health and manner that such improve- 
ment can only be caused by happiness. . . . Your 
6 pages are all very nice and I will just glance 
them over, and then, as Craven said in his sermon 
just now "proceed to continue to state to improve" 
(Should not in a parenthesis impudence and igno- 
rance be represented in white ties ? Why should 
Craven preaching from a text about Moses, "your 
sins will find you out " declare that not taking the 



Holy Sacrament would certainly make a man miser- 
able here, and probably hereafter ? Yet poor Craven, 
though a sad goose is a good and laborious man : 
which his wife resembles the mother of the Milky 
herd and produces an ecclesiastical baby regularly 
every ten months. I shall ask him to dine with me 
on Thursday next.) 

To return to your letter. I can quite fancy the 
library at Strawberry Hill under the circumstances : 
I wonder if that glass globe stays out all the winter J : 
if ever I grow childish or insane I shall ask Lady W. 
to let me have that globe to play with, for never any 
fool was more taken with an object. Bye the bye 
talking of fools there is an old man here partly so 
by nature partly by drink a seafaring man who has 
formerly been in the Balearic Isles. He has taken 
a kind of monomaniac fancy to my Nonsense Book, 
and declares that he knew personally the Aunt of the 
Girl of Majorca ! ! I hear it is more than humanity 
can bear to hear him point out how exactly like she is 
and how she used to jump the walls in Majorca 
with flying leaps !!!!!! Bother this letter it won't go 
on straight. 

There was a young girl of Majorca, 
Whose aunt was a very fast walker, 

She walked seventy miles, 

And leaped fifteen stiles, 
Which astonished that girl of Majorca. 

1 A silvered glass globe on a pedestal in the garden, which 
specially attracted the admiration of Mr. Lear. 


Letters of Edward Lear 





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You vast owly Mortle ! Why haven't you said on 
what day the marriage of yourself and Lady W. is 
to be. Confound it, nor where it is to take place. 
I guess Twickenham or Brompton. By what you 
write it seems to me you have announced it yourself 
to dear old Mrs. Ruxton or she has seen it in print. 
Do tell me, when you have been to Red House, how 
she takes it. ... 

Your remark " prayed at " reminds me of an angry 
governess, to whom, being a R.C. a violent Pro- 
testant lady said " The God of Mercy turn your 
heart ! I pray for you morning noon and night ! " 
" Croyez vous done, Madame," said the governess 
"que ce grand bon Dieu n'a pas quoi s'occuper, qu'il 
doit e"couter vos betises meme trois fois par jour? 
Allez done ! je vous prie de ne lui pas fatiguer plus 
pour moi ! " 

I can fancy the Russ's 1 sensations. I think he 
will have photographs of you all over the house, 
busts on the bannisters, and a statue on the door- 
steps. . . . The reason of servants being unsatisfac- 
tory 9 times out of 10 is that their hirers consider 
them as chairs or tables and take no interest in 
them as human beings. Your lady knows that well 
enough, for she is kind to them individually. For 
myself, the only three I ever had, Hansen, Giorgio 
and T. Cooper, would all do anything to oblige me 
and I don't believe that is chance but the effect of 

1 Fortescue's landlord in St. James's Place, where F. had lived 
for many years. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

caring for them in some way to improve them or their 
families. . . . 

. . . Concerning the concession of the Isles I do 
not see that it could be done till there be a certainty 
of a solid and strong government in Greece which 
amounts to saying it can't be done now. Yet it seems 
to me, that could the English Government get the 
other powers to agree that such definite arrangement 
should be made whenever the proper time arrives, 
a positive statement of this sort may do much to 
make governing here more easy, the principal cause 
of their botheration being thus removed. Surely they 
might govern them without a parliament here at all, 
on the grounds that the fate of the Islands would be 
settled and only a question of time as to when 
carried to an ultimatum or rlXoc. Wolff is not yet 
come. Me 0da>rat,i a secretary who is away 9 months 
out of 12 is a not very requisite functionary. In fact 
Storx is more a ruler than any I have known here, 
and the manner of the judges dismissal is, as far as 
I can see, the only error of his sway of 3 or 4 years. 
I hope to goodness your ministry won't be turned 
out : but I have " reason to think " that a big man in 
the Upper House has been getting at any kind of 
information about that Judge affair. Possibly your 
reverence may remember that Talbot 2 was governor 
of Cephalonia for a time, verbum sap. 

1 It appears to me. 

* Colonel Talbot was private secretary to the Earl of Derby 
when he was Prime Minister in 1852. 



... 1 rejoice to state that these views I am 
doing 10 and 12 guinea ones seem much liked, 
and that the young Duke of St. Albans 1 bought 
5 a few days ago. Nevertheless, reddy tin is scarce, 
and bills abound. . . . Nonsense issues from me at 
times to make a new book next year. The weather 
is at present lovely and the views over the harbour 
are of the most clipfombious and ompsiquillious 
nature. . . . Here's somebod a nokking at the dolor- 
ous door. I must stop. 

February ist, 1863. 

On the 3oth ult. (which don't mean ultramarine but 
ultimo) came yours of the igth. ... I have since 
read that the marriage did take place, 2 and Sir 
H. Storks, whom I me tout walking yesterday, said, 
" if he is as happy as his friends wish him, he will be 
extremely so." Being a Lord High Commissioner, 
I did not slap him on the shoulder and say " Well 
done ! old cove ! " tho' I wished to do so. I suppose 
you to be walking about on your head, or at least 
turning over and over starfish fashion. Some ill- 
natured ass put that account of the marriage into my 
paper the " Daily Telegraph " in order that it 
might be followed by " Blue Mantle's " letter next 
day on keeping or changing names. 3 When did 

1 The tenth Duke. 

2 On the 2oth of January, 1863, at Old Brompton Church, 
only relations and connections being invited to the wedding. 

3 Referring to a letter in the paper objecting to Lady 
Waldegrave still calling herself " Countess Waldegrave," signed 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Lady W. ever call herself Countess W. and not 
Frances Countess W. ? Or, if she had, do not 
the Duchesses of St. Albans and Roxburgh keep 
their titles ? Not to speak of Lady Farquhar and 
Lady Pigott, etc : etc : It is delightful to know that 
Mrs. Ruxton is happy. Has Russ bust his heart? 

. . . Meanwhile my dear boy I wish you and 
" Mrs. Fortescue " as the " Telegraph " will have 
her to be, every happiness and as long a lease of it 
as may be. And live as quietly as you can rank and 
position permitting ; for, as you know I think, in 
inward quietness lies greatest happiness. 

As for me, I may say thankfully that no month of 
January in all my life has gone by so happily as this. 
. . . The winter seems all gone for the present 
though the Equal-noxious gales will doubtless come 
in disgustable force. ... As far as my wits go, it 
seems to me that the present move is to enforce 
public recognition of a distinct principle, viz. : that 
when Greece is established, the end of our control 
here is at hand. But that it should cease yet or 
until a firm government can be put in our place, 
seems to me very improbable. ... I still lead the 
same quiet life, dining at the De Vere's or Palace on 
Sundays, and on Tuesdays somewhere or other : one 
or another of the garrison officers dining with me on 

" Blue Mantle," and to which the real " Blue Mantle " replied, 
showing that the precedent was a perfectly correct one. Lady 
Waldegrave never called herself anything but "Frances 
Countess Waldegrave." 



Thursdays, . . . Here is the paradigmatical illustra- 
tion of last Sunday's dinner. 1 

O child ! write ! I can't any more. (Bye the bye I 
am glad to see 2 letters in today's papers in answer 
to that ass " Bluemantle "). Nevertheless give my 
love to " Mrs. Fortescue." I am collapsing with 
laughter and must go and bounce chords on the 

8 February, 1863. 

Your letter of the 3<Dth delighted me extremely 
you seem so thund'ring happy. . . . Bother the 
" Daily Telegraph " I see the real " Blue Mantle " 
has been writing in answer to the malicious ijot who 
goes on with his "Mrs. C. S. F." 2 What delights 
me as much as anything is to hear that you and my 
Lady are going to Red House at Easter. . . . 

I'm glad she makes you get up early and take 
oss exersize. The plan of the 12 o'clock breakfast 

1 On Mr. Lear's right will be noticed the name Evelyn Baring. 
This is the present Earl Cromer. 3 Another initial of Fortescue's 


Letters of Edward Lear 

seems good only take some coffee early or some- 
thing a nemptystummuk is a bad thing. (Old 
Chevalier Kestner 1 once said calling out in the 
street " Come and breakfast with me tomorrow ; 
not a teapot but a forked collation.") I was however 
much amused when I read that bit of your letter, 
because the evening before a man, after growling at 
all " Greeks " with the contemptuous annoyance of an 
Anglo-Saxon spoke as bitterly as he could of a nice 
young Englishman an officer married to a really 
nice Greek' girl "he was ceasing to be English 
entirely and becoming Greek altogether." " But 
how " said I. And after obliging my man to confess 

that Captain was as good tempered, as attentive 

to his duties as fond of exercises as regular at 
church, etc : etc : etc : as before he married he began 
to get cross, and at last grumbled out " Well then ! 
I'll tell you what he does ! he breakfasts a lafourchette 
at ii or 12 and if you can say a man is an English- 
man who does that the devil's in it." 

Thank you for sending the 66 to Drummond's : 
I have only got sixpence and 2 farthings left here . . . 

We are all becoming convinced that we are 
a-going to go but when we wot not. On Friday, 
perhaps the last ball guv by the last Lord High came 
off and I ought to have gone but didn't. (Lord! 
how I hate the bustle and lights and fuss of 
"society" social in reality as is my nature not 

1 A well-known figure in Roman society of the forties and 



gregarious. Geese, swine, gnats, etc., are gregarious). 
Have you heard anything of Bowen of late ? It is 
reported here that he and Lady B. have parted . . . 
it is said the Queensland papers were full of it yet 
here one never knows what to believe. 

I see you are going to have a Royal Academy 
Commission : it will do nothing at all I fear. I wish 
the whole thing were abolished for as it is now it is 
disgraceful. 30 men self-declared as the 30 greatest 
painters of England yet having in their body 
Witheringtons Frosts Coopers C. Landseers 
and other unheard of nonentities, while Watts 
Linnel Hunt Maddox Brown Anthony and 
many more are condemned to official extinction. My 
sister Ellinor writes : " One of my eldest brother's 
sons has been badly wounded in the last battle." 

My watercolour drawings are all done but two a 
really remarkable spot of energy : tho', by 
reason of sitting still and poking to see 
them my neck has grown longer and 
my body fatter, and I am like to this 

. . . My plans are still unsettled ... I think I 
shall pantechnichize for a good long time and go 
about wandering as it were like a tailless baboon. 
Athens does not appear to me to be a bad place to 
stick in ... I can't tell yet but I think this year 
will see a change in my life, if so be I live for I 
don't look to do that very long ... I wish you both 
as much happiness as you can gobble, and am greatly 
rejoiced at your condition. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Yours absquoxiously and full of blomphious and 
umpsidixious congratulations. 


February qth. Today's mail has brought me no 
letters and only a single paper. But that tells me 
of Lord Lansdowne's 1 death a great loss to many, 
and a lesson in life, for he was a truly noble good fine 
man. Yet at 82 and with so good and long a life 
his death seems to come all-expected. Not so what 
the same newspaper also tells me of the death of 
poor William Harcourt's 2 wife! what a dreadful 
blank and blow for him ! It seems but the other day 
I met her in Pall Mall, so gay just going to church ! 

Yesterday after I wrote the first part of this letter, 
Wolff and Sargent called, and the amount of question- 
ing and pumping was fearful but I withstood all. 
Howbeit I have my own ideas of good-breeding. A 
German Count who was here last year said " I take 
one walk with Sir C. Sargent and Mr. Wolff and 
when I come back I feel no more one man, but one 
catechism book that all may ask questions out from." 
In the evening I dined at the Wolff's. Lady W. has 
some of the delicate, intangible, not to be expressed, 
refined qualities of woman in as great a degree as 
I ever knew in any female. She is, in somma, a 
talented Italian with a great dash of English firm 

1 The third Marquis, who was offered the Premiership in 1852. 

2 Afterwards Sir William Harcourt. He married in 1859 
Miss Lister, a daughter of the well-known Lady Theresa Lewis 
by her first marriage, with Mr. Lister. 



good sense. This evening I had hoped for quiet, but 
there came " Masks " and bored me to death, and 
later a heap of people. Bother, said I, and came 

22nd February 1863 

... I should certainly like to have a peep at you 
and Lady Waldegrave in Carlton Gardens where 
Wolff tells me he sees in the papers you are gone. 
... I am again writing at 10.30 p.m. after a very 
pleasant dinner at all events a good one at the 
Lord High's who as I left the room, said "if you 
write to Fortescue, give him my kind remembrances." 
But of the day and of the weeks bygone, and of 
many other things this deponent saith nil, whereby 
and forwhy he is going to bed. 

March i. 

About the 2oth I finished the last of 60 drawings 
all of i o or 12 guineas each in price and last week 
the frames came, and then, after two days' insertion 
of the drawings, measuring and nail knocking, I have 
made a really remarkable gallery of water colour 
works. This next week I have to ask some 70 or 80 
sets of people to see this same gallery but I doubt 
my success in selling the drawings. Cheap photo- 
graphs are the order of the day now. . . . Among 
those who most enjoy seeing what I have done, Sir 
H. Storks is eminent. His delight in looking over 
the drawings was very marked and at once he 
bought one of Jerusalem and one of Corfu. Lady 

273 T 

Letters of Edward Lear 

Wolff also examines everything minutely and with 
an eye evidently used to look at nature heartily. 
Others will irritate me Sir C. Sargent to wit who 
saw all 60 drawings in 19 minutes, calling over the 
names of each and saying " ^"700 ! why you must 
give a ball!" Fool! As yet I have sold 

worth but have not received one farthing for great 
people generally suppose that artists gnaw their 
colours and brushes for food. . . . Overleaf I will 
give you a sort of picture of my gallery. There's a 
proof that an old cove of 50 has some energy still ! 

Sir H. S. has been most particularly amiable 
asking me perpetually to Sunday dinners. He is 



doubtless one of the most agreeable men socially 
and in his public character I perceive that he is 
always consistent never for a moment forgetting 
that he is the Q.'s Lord H. Commissioner. 

Of the swells next to those Palatial the ancient 
general seems a jovial amiable man. But there is no 
one here I can walk with comfortably, and I miss 
Lushington horridly at times. Last Sunday I 
insisted (as Sir C. Sargent and Wolff wanted me 
to walk) on not pottering to the one-gun-battery 
which is like walking up and down Rotten Row so 
we walked round Potamo ; it was one of the most 
lovely of afternoons, and the colour and scenery were 
enough to delight a dead man. These two live ones 
however never once looked at or spoke of it : their 
talk was of money and politics only, and made me 
sick for the three hours. Lady Wolff is a singularly 
clever woman. A Professor Ansted 1 is here a very 
intellectual and pleasant man. Sir H. Storks sent 
him to me from my knowing the island well, and I 
took him to Peleca and got him to dine with me. 
There is also a very curious young man Lord 
Seymour 2 here : his ways are ways of wonder, but 
it seems to me I should or shall like him. 

Lear to Lady Waldegrave. 

15 March 1863 

Your letter of the 23rd February gave me a great 
deal of pleasure ; it is delightful to know from your- 

1 The well-known geologist. 2 Son of the Duke of Somerset 


Letters of Edward Lear 

self that you and Chichester are so happy, though I 
knew very well that you would be so. The Pig- 
hearted has an abundance of good qualities, which 
are not observable even upon long knowledge of his 

I am glad I was not doomed to hear Mr. J.'s 
sermon. I begin to be vastly weary of hearing 
people talk nonsense unanswered, not because 
they are unanswerable, but because they talk in 
pulpits. That same morning I heard a "discourse" 
on Lot's wife and other unpleasant legends, being 
as I find in my journal, the 23rd I have heard on the 
same subject. Are not the priests of the age blind 
indeed not to discern that, though from the unassail- 
able vantage ground of custom they may oppress the 
human intellect for a long long while, yet that some 
day the hour will come for them to go the way of all 
other priesthoods ? 

The battle about Colenso interests me immensely : 
I perceive that Hampden 1 and Thirlwall are the only 
two of all the silly Bishops who have not signed the 
Memorial to " Natal." In the nature of things it was 
not to be supposed that the Bps were to forward 
Colenso's views, but they might have done another 
thing to wit, let him alone. A broader creed, a 
better form of worship the cessation of nonsense and 
curses and the recognition of a new state of matters 
brought about by centuries, science, destiny or what 

1 Bishop of Hereford, whose election in 1847 was opposed by 
thirteen bishops and the Dean of Hereford. 



not will assuredly be demanded and come to pass 
whether Bishops and priests welcome the changes or 
resist them. Not those who believe that God the 
Creator is greater than a Book, and that millions 
unborn are to look up to higher thoughts than those 
stereotyped by ancient legends, gross ignorance, and 
hideous bigotry not those are the Infidels, but 
these same screamy ganders of the church, who put 
darkness forward and insist that it is light. 

Meanwhile I hear that a measure is to be brought 
forward in the Legislature, to simplify the creed of 
religious England, and thus by the shortest catechism 
to abolish all infidel doctrines. The Bishops of all 
dioceses are to prevent the clergy from allowing any 
person to attend church who does not answer 2 simple 
questions in the affirmative. 

i st. Do you believe in Balaam's ass, Jonah's 
whale, Elisha's bears, and Lot's wife ? 

2nd. Do you believe that all mankind who do not 
believe in these creatures will be burned in everlast- 
ing fire, wholly without respect to their wisdom, 
charity or any other good quality? 

. . . My life here has gone on very sklombion- 
biously on the whole though I go out very little, 
not being, as you know, of a gregarious nature. . . , 
Sir Henry Storks very often asks me to dine on 
Sunday, and I find the evening there very agreeable: 
he is so full of anecdote and information that you 
would suppose he had had nothing to do but flaner 
all his life instead of being soldier, governor, and 


Letters of Edward Lear 

what not. To me he seems most excellently fitted 
for his post here, being always the same consistent 
man in public life and private. 

Heaps of Gonfiati 1 continue to rush about here 
at intervals : a surprising duchess came to my rooms 

2 days ago (M ) though I don't think she 

looked at anything very much. But the people 
whose acquaintance has most delighted me are the 
Shelley's 2 who are here in a yott. Think of my 
music to "O world, O life, O time!" Shelley's words 
being put down in notes by Shelley's own son ! 
Then there is Lord Seymour, who seems to me as if 
he had dreamed a dream and was continually a-dream- 
ing of having dreamed it : qua a Duke's eldest sun, 
certainly an odd mortal, though there is somewhat of 
interest about him. Also there was Smith O'Brien,3 
who has sail'd off to Athens, I really believe, upon 
some hubbly bubbly errand of stuff. The Duke of 
St. Alban's was here too, which his Duchess mother 
I like more nor the Duchess just gone. . . . 

At the present moment I have pulled down my 
Eggzibission and shall send some to England pos- 
sibly, one is for C. F.'s wedding present bye the bye 

1 Swells. 

a Sir Percy Florence Shelley, only son of the poet, succeeded 
his grandfather as third baronet in 1844. He married the 
widow of the Hon. C. R. St. John. 

3 The famous Irish revolutionary, who was tried for High 
Treason in 1848 and sentenced to be hanged, drawn, and 
quartered. He was, however, only transported to Tasmania, 
receiving a pardon in 1854. 



but my principal effort just now is towards the 
production of 24 views to illustrate the Ionian Islands. 
. . . My love to XoipoicapStaQ Choirokardias (which is 
the Pighearted). 

Please let C. F. have the disclosed note. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

23 March 1863 

The sklimjimfiousness of the situation increases : 
Sir H. Drummond Wolff has been and gone and 
bought 2 of my drawings and Captain Stocker is 
to buy another, so that I shall have enough tin to pay 
rent and shut up house for 8 weeks or thereabouts. 
Whereupon, I shall first make some studies of what 
Lady Young used to call " Awnge trees " and then I 
shall go to Paxo. 

There was an old person of Paxo 

Which complained when the fleas bit his back so, 

But they gave him a chair 

And impelled him to swear, 
Which relieved that old person of Paxo. 

Just as I had written this bosh, came a nokkat the 
daw and lo ! a letter of yours sent by the L.H.C. 
. . . I heard Wolff say yesterday that the "Judge 
Affair " was postponed by Ld. D[erby]'s govt. I 
hope your govt. won't suffer. I suppose something 
must be unbeknown as yet to the public about the 
judicials removed : anyhow Sir H. S.'s general public 
conduct has been as far as I am able to see so 


Letters of Edward Lear 

sensible, that I cannot but give him credit for having 
more and stronger motives for the change of the 
official dignitaries than his adversaries allow. 

I go hence as I said on the 4th April and 
return towards the end of May, but I will write to 
you from Sta Maura. . . . My gallery is nearly 
dismantled, and must be put up what remains of 
it in Stratford Place, where by June 15 I hope to 
see you 

u but never more, O ! never we 
Shall meet to eggs and toast and T ! " 

Never mind. I don't grumble at the less I see of 
friends so they gain by it. ... Ford writes the 
" Cedars " are just now put up again in Stratford 
Place : please, if you have time, see them and tell me 
how they look poor brutes. 

The account of the wedding 1 was delightful : poor 
dear Queen. We are going to abluminate tonight 
the day being fine. Giorgio has bought 96 little 
earthen pots for lights. ... I wonder if you had a 
new coat when you married. 

Another Nok at the Dore Sir Percy and Lady 
Shelley and little Florence and to say " goodbye " 
which I hate. Lady S. is out and out and out a 
stunner of a delightful woman. . . . 

1 Of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to Princess Alexandra of 


June to December, 1863 


Lear to Fortescue. 

ANCONA. 7 a.m. 8 June, 1863. 

YOU see I am on my way so far, and I suppose I 
may be in England on Friday and in town on 
Saturday. So that I shall hope to see you and Lady 
Waldegrave on Sunday. 

I have wearied awfully of the sea voyage and do 
so more and more. Perhaps the whole stagnation of 
a week or more besides the actual physical nuisance, 
makes me determined to put an end to this double 
"journey of life." But where I must live, so as to live 
only in one place I can't yet decide. 

. . . The farther I go from Corfu the more I look 
back to the delight its beautiful quiet has so long 
given me, and I am by no means approaching the 
filth and horror and noise of London life with a 
becoming spirit. 

Sitting next to the Captain of an Austrian Frigate 


Letters of Edward Lear 

at Sir H. Stork's on Thursday evening the German 
officer said to a subaltern (the conversation was 
about the good looks of women) " I do think the 
Englishwoman conserve her aperient Galship longer 
than all the women : even as far as her Antics." 

The subaltern withered with confusion till I ven- 
tured to explain, 

" The Englishwoman preserves her appearance of 
youth longer than all women even if she be old." 

TURIN. Wednesday 17 June, 1863. 

You will be sorry to know from this that I have 
been lying here very ill this is the 9th day. I think 
I wrote to you from Ancona on the 8th when I landed 
from Corfu intending to come on at once to Paris 
and London. But as yet V. Emmanuel's govt. has not 
been able to put a stop to all the old remains of Papal 
torture, one of which was to examine the goods of 
travellers in the middle of the road on leaving Ancona 
(Ancona being a free town). So I had to undergo 
this at noon, and having no servant and heavy boxes 
to unstrap, half an hour in the great heat knocked me 
up with a sunstroke. 

I came on here, but grew worse and worse : and I 
did not think I should live. I believe now however 
that I may get over the attack tho' I cannot tell when 
I shall be able to travel. 

You may suppose my plans for London season are 
all gone to the winds. I often thank God that 
although he has given me a nature easily worried by 



small matters, yet in cases such as this I go on day 
after day quite calmly, only thankful that I do not 
suffer more. 

It is an odd full stop to my triumphant 8 weeks' 
success in the Island tour. . . . 

Aug: 5, 1863. 

I met Ld. Kirkwall yesterday afternoon in Pall 
Mall. He was going to harangue about Sir H. S. 
when I said, " I saw much more of Sir Henry than in 
the year you were in Corfu and I not only like him 
very much, but think him an A. No. i Governor" 
whereat he dropped my hand and collapsed. 

A moth has crossed my paper, so I must go and 
kill him. 


Lear to Fortescue. 


Aug. 9, 1863. 

I had thought of writing out my 6 island journal 
here, but I am so ill at ease that I shall do neither 
that nor anything else I believe. . . . 


Letters of Edward Lear 

My plan was to bring out a work consisting of 20 
Ionian views. . . . 

This collection would, you see, have given the 
beastly public all that was most characteristic of the 
Islands : and, being well done, if at all, would keep up 
my prestige as a draftsman of Mediterranean scenery 
and would, moreover, hold up or pave a way to my 
more general smallersized Topography of Greece, to 
be one day printed with my Journals. But, as above 
related, everything is in Noobibus as yet, and I, as 
you may guess, grow more and more vexed perpetual. 

This place, or rather this part of it, is also growing 
more and more odious. Since a huge hotel has been 
built, I assure you to walk in the evening is precisely 
like going into Regent St. or Piccadilly nay, rather 
Cheapside. Nothing like "the country " do I enjoy in 
England nowadays. London is introduced and ground 
into every life far or near. It seems to me therefore 
. . . that I shall . . . betake myself back to London 
until I go southward : first however, taking some 6 
or 8 views of this once lovely place as of one I shall 
not easily come to again. . . . 

Society here is rabid with bigotry & bother ; & 

moreover is altogether oppressed with W & 

passonic tendencies. Everybody thinks as old Lady 
Waldegrave 1 chooses except those exactly antagon- 

1 Sarah, widow of Edward Milward, of Hastings, and daughter 
of the Rev. W. Whitear, Prebendary of Chichester, married 
as his second wife the eighth Earl Waldegrave, uncle and 
successor of Frances Countess Waldegrave's husband, the 
seventh Earl. 



istic, such as High Church & R. Catholics, concerning 
which latter there is the devil of a fuss. For the 
Dow ger Duchess of Leeds has come to live here in 
the Convent, (where Cardinal W. also comes at 
times) and is buying land "all over the place" to 
the rage & horror of the Hastings folk. I can't help 
laughing at the last thing she has done viz : to 
purchase a large house just opposite old Lady W.'s. 
& next door to the raging Low Church Lady 
W.'s particular preserve for a Jesuit Seminary!!!!! 
Between Colenso & the Duchess of L. all Hastings 
is all but gone frantic. . . . The people of the 
lodgings have nevertheless conceived a favourable 
idea of my piety by seeing " La vie de Jesus " on 
my table (by the bye I beg you will read it 
carefully), little conceiving the opposition of that 
volume to their views & their topics of faith. Ernest 
Renan is assuredly "a Clayver man. ..." 

Squiggs. Beetles. Bother. Bullfrogs. Butter- 
cups. Let us change the subject. 

14, August, 1863. 

I was erjoiced to get your letter today. ... I 
tookarookarook this paper to write a decent letter 
but can't go on candles kill me, and I have no lamp. 

Only thanks for the Ionian Judges their papers. 1 
Winkins ! Xidian 2 is a one-er he is ! & spite of 

1 Correspondence and papers relative to the summary 
removal of the Ionian Judges by Sir Henry Storks. 

2 One of the removed Judges. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Count Metaxa's l friendship, he ought to have been 
suspended long ago if a twentieth part of what 
Kapovao 2 says is true. A small bird however had 
told me that enormities were to be expected, so it 
wasn't surprised I was. To my thinking Sir H. S. 
has simply done a very evident public duty cour- 
ageously. Sargent and Colquhoun I imagine won't 
delight in their descriptions. Kapovao has always 
been described to me as a man of great character 
and firmness and so meseems he is by token of 
these papers. 

1 6 August. 

I am all at sea, bother. These rooms are let to a 
family with 497 children, and I have to turn out on 
Tuesday. . . . English country house visiting is 
well for the idle and rich. I'll no more of it. 

As soon as I get back to town, I either resolve on 
and set to work on this Lithograph volume or I 
don't, and go abroad. If the former, I dorit stir out 
of London till its DONEDONE DONE so 
don't ask me. 

Concentrate your ideas if you want to do anything 
well, and don't run about, as the Tortoise said to the 

fi?tStav 3 and case is certainly amazing. " Save me 
from my friends ! " well may he say to Lord Derby 
and the " Saturday Review." 

1 Count Jean-Baptiste Metaxa, a member 01 one of the most 
powerful families in the Ionian Isles, became a naturalised 
Englishman in 1846. a Caruso. 3 Xidian. 



Edward Wilson * has been staying here, and I saw 
a good deal of him : a singular man. He showed me 
the Petition 2 which came down here for him to sign, 
and you have doubtless seen another " Times " letter 
of his. I saw the replies you mention. Not under- 
standing these things fully it appears to me that it 
would be better for the Imperial Govt. to disgust one 
Colony by not giving it convicts, than to disgust all 
the other Colonies in Australia by the opposite line. 
If the transportation of convicts "must cease" before 
many years why not try to legislate for that fact now. 
However, E. Wilson and I don't agree on many 
points, as you may suppose when he says / am a Tory. 
His energy is instructive. We went to see mills and 
farms and bulls and hydraulic botherations drains 
and other statistic beastlinesses, here ; and now he is 
off for cattle to Alderney : to inspect oyster beds at 
St. Malo : some mines at Vichy : some agricultural in- 
ventions near Montpelier : a garden of acclimatization 
at Stuttgard and something else at Rotterdam before 
he returns to sail from Liverpool early in October. 
... By yesterday's Gazette I see Miss Lascelles 3 

1 He emigrated to Melbourne in 1842, and took a prominent 
part in public life in Australia. He strongly opposed the influx 
of convicts from Tasmania, which led to the Convict Prevention 

2 Protesting against all our worst criminals being sent to 
Western Australia, as had just been advocated in the Report of 
the Commissioners on Penal Discipline. 

3 Miss Emma Lascelles, who married in 1865 Lord Edward 
Cavendish, the third son of the Duke of Devonshire. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

is Maid of Honour " vice " Honble Adelaide Caven- 
dish resigned. Now, you don't see how that interests 
me you don't, you don't, you don't ! But it does 
werry and one day you'll see why you will, you 
will, you will. 

I expect to hear Xidian and Marcoran and Caruso 
will all murder each other promiscuous. How are the 
elections going on there, I wonder. 1 . . . 

What would Neptune say if they deprived him of 
the sea ? 

" I haven't a n/otion ! " 

1 Sir Henry Storks dissolved the Ionian Parliament on the 
6th of August, and summoned a new one, in order to ascertain 
in a formal manner the wishes of the people regarding the 
cession to Greece, the Great Powers having already signified 
their assent to this proposition at a Conference held in London 
in June^ 



I asked the girl here (having a friend to dine, 
and wishing to have the wine cool) for some ice. 
But she thought I said, " I want some mice / " and 
was seized with great fear forthwith. 


6 September 1863. 

I want you to write to Lord Palmer ston to ask him 
to ask the Queen to ask the King of Greece l to give 
me a " place." As I never asked anything of you 
before, I think I may rely on your doing this for me. 
I wish the place to be created a-purpos for me, and 
the title to be 6 ''Apxavontna^vapiairotog, 2 with per- 
mission to wear a fool's cap (or mitre) 3 pounds of 
butter yearly and a little pig, and a small donkey to 
ride on. Please don't forget all this, as I have set 
my heart on it. 

I see by the " Observer " of today that the King of 
Greece is to come to Windsor or Balmoral about the 
1 5th, and that the vote of the Ifonian] Parliament 
cannot be taken before the 2nd or 3rd week in 
October after which he is to go to Athens. If I 
hear before that, that we (the English in the 7 islands) 
are likely to clear out before Christmas, it will make a 
great difference to me for I then should not take out 
drawings or copies of my new work. So let me know, 
as far as you may with properriety. 

I finished my third view yesterday, 17 now remain- 

1 Prince George of Denmark was proclaimed King of Greece 
at Athens on the 3oth of March. 
8 Lord High bosh and nonsense producer. 

289 U 

Letters of Edward Lear 

ing : and I should have begun the 4th if a brute of an 
Irishman (the member for Louth it was) hadn't inter- 
rupted me. I was however consoled for this by his 
bringing me photographs of two of my friends, both 
of which (i.e. the photographs) I like better the more 
I see of them. Yours however is not altogether right, 
but my lady's is very exact. Only I could feel inclined 
to cut the head of it into a vignette. The large 
dresses of the day never look well photographed, for 
in themselves they are so monstrous that only the 
movement of a live woman can make them approxi- 
mate to a human figure at all, and that movement of 
course can't be given in photography or art, so that 
the portrait of a sitting lady in a crinoline always 
looks as if she were a dwarf walking. I shall there- 
fore make a vignette : the face is the very best I have 
seen photographed for a long time but the white 
feather catches the eye and should be toned down a 
bit selon moi. 

I go on reading C. Lever stujously : he's a wonder- 
ful fellow. No novels have interested me so much 
since my early days of devouring W. Scott's. To 
enter into a great part of the delights of his descrip- 
tions however, one must have lived a good deal 
abroad and also it behoves one to appreciate Irish 
character completely, which, perhaps thanks to my 
Gt.Gt.Gt.Gt.Gt.Gt.grandfather Usher I can do. 

The " Knight of Wynne" is delightful, and now I am 
reading "The Daltons." Mrs. Ricketts is a picture 
from life. so' well drawn as to keep me in a scream of 


H S 1 


laughter. I think you knew her or saw her Mrs. 

S of L . Purvis is one of her set. She was 

a horrid animal and deserved even worse showing up. 

How do you think I am going to pass my Sunday? 
In a long walk up to Highgate, where I shall go and 
look at my dear sister's grave, which I always mean 
to do. The greatest blessing that ever happened to 
me was being here when she died. . . . 

No more thyme. 

P.S. I perceive that Septembers are variously 
passed in this life. Sept. 1861 I painted all day 
lived upon soles and whitings, and read Greek morn- 
ing and evening. 

Sept. 1862. I dawdled all day at people's houses, 
lived upon luxuries, and made a book of nonsense, 
morning and evening. 

Sept. 1863. I lithograph all day : live upon cold 
mutton and read Lever. 


14 Sept., 1863. 

I fear the New Zealand bothers l are recommencing 
and no mistake. The Southern islanders are happy 
to be out of all that confusion. I have had 2 letters 
"North" and "South" sent me by my sisters this 
last week, both shocking enough. 

Bye the bye, one of the oddest feelings I can 
remember to have encountered came to me by a 

1 This year saw the commencement of a little war with the 
Maoris, arising out of the question of the English appropriation 
of waste lands. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

circumstance last Monday. On the Sunday, I had 
gone to Highgate Cemetery to see about my dear 
sister Ann's grave, and returning, perceived afar, 
that the old House I was born in, (its gardens and 
paddocks were long ago destroyed by new roads and 
buildings,) was advertised for sale as building materials, 
4 houses to be raised on its site. So the follow- 
ing day I went up there, and all over it : and I can 
assure you, the annihilation of time which seeing such 
early-known localities produced was curious, and made 
me afterwards thoughtful enough. As I stood in 
various parts of the large empty rooms, I could 
absolutely hear and see voices and persons, and could 
(had I had a pen and ink paper and time,) have 
written out months and years of life nearly 50 years 
ago, exactly and positively. (The old woman who 
shewed the house seemed horribly puzzled at my 
knowing all the odd closets and doors etc : and 
received 2/6 with a mixture of pleasure and fear.). . . . 
I must go and finish the 7th lithograph wo is me. 
. . . This work is so filthy too. I shall never be 
clean again. When it is done, I 
shall sit 10 days in a warm water 
pot, covered with a covering 
and receive my friends thus 

Bye the bye when I left Corfu, Sir H. S. asked 
me if I would take some dispatches " Would you 
like to take some dispatches, Mr. Lear?" I re- 
member saying "No Sir" in a tone like "God 
forbid Sir ! " but what should I have said ? 



For fescue to Lear. 

Sep. i$th, 1863. 

LITHOGRAPHIC LEAR, How do you get on ? I hope 
you have found "sermons in stones and good in 
everything." . . . Come to us then, Lithographic 
Lear, upon the Mosaic Sabbath, and pass here the 
Sabbath of Shaftesbury. 

Sept. 16, 1863. 

DEAR 4OSCUE, Gracious grease pots! I've just 
done the 8th lithograph, and have put the tracing on 
for the Qth, so, while that is drying, I've run up here 
to write a line. 

Do you see you are a rattlesnakist ? Leastwise 
your chief is. In the " Times " of today E. Wilson 
compares the Convicts to a rattlesnake, and the Duke l 
to them as throws them into a babby's bed. The 
reptile is to be chopped up but the thrower is to be 
worse dealt with. I wish though seriously, you could 
find some new place for the convicts. What a bore 
they are. What a bore everything is particularly 

I disclose a proof of my first prospectus. 2 . . . I've 
got 4 subscribers to begin with meanwhile, which is 
something on the way to 600. Never mind. Percy - 

Goodbye, von Louth ... in a nurry. 

1 The Duke of Newcastle, Secretary of State for the Colonies. 
a "Views of the Seven Ionian Islands," published 1863. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Sept., 1863. 

I came to " leave a card " on you, as you ax'd me 
to the dinner yesterday so here it is 

I was disgusted at being aperiently so rude to Lady 
Waldegrave but I was not well from the East winds, 
and so completely uncertain whether I had any voice 
or not, that I thought it better not to sing, than to go 
to the piano and be obliged to quit it. I felt like a 
cow who has swallowed a glass bottle or a boiled 
weasel and should probably have made a noise like 
a dyspeptic mouse in a fit. 

But I passed a very pleasant evening, and was 
delighted with Lady Waldegrave's perfectly natural 
and kind manner. I should have liked to sit next to 
you, but I couldn't resist moving up to my next neigh- 
bour. I came out purposing to leave cards at Carlton 
Gardens so I shall do so, though I know the Lady is 
out, for I nearly ran under the veels of her Chariot 
just now, whereby she made me a bough. 

I must add that I think your room looks extremely 



pretty and the Pigchr is stunning as it hangs now. 
How nicely you have had the " Morn broadens " done 
as to frame. 

There was an old man who said, " How, 
Shall I flee from this terrible cow ? 

I will sit on this stile 

And continue to smile 
Which may soften the heart of that cow." 

What's the difference between the Czar and the 
" Times " paper ? One is the type of Despotism : the 
other the despotism of Type. 

What is the difference between a hen and a kitchen- 
maid? One is a domestic fowl, the other a foul 

Why need you not starve in the Desert ? Because 


Letters of Edward Lear 

you might eat all the Sand which is there. Why are 
the Sandwiches there ? Because there the family of 
Ham was bread and mustard. 

Fortescue to Lear. 



22 November, 1863. 

I saw the Duke of N. (who is in very bad health) in 
London, and asked him about Corfu. He says all 
will go well, in spite of the usual ill-conditioned child- 
ishness of the Assembly but that the settlement of 
the Treaty with Greece will take time that between 
the Great Powers is signed already. Lord Russell 
says that the troops will not be away before April. 

Lear to Fortescue. 

Jany, i, 1864. 

The woes of life. I am off unexpectedly ... an 
acquaintance (Wade-Brown of the Guards,) goes to- 
morrow all the way to Corfu, so I decided on flitting. 
Hard work packing, etc : etc : in a day ! but it was 
harder and sadder to write, write, write, to the remain- 
ing 50 of my subscribers, who naturally think 3 guineas 
can be nothing, forgetting that 1 50 guineas are much. 

You will be happy to hear that I have put by ^300, 
and therefore am entitled annually to 9 all my life. 
I would not go through what I have again for ^9000 
a year. But having seen fit to begin a work, I went 
through with it. ... 


January to April, 1864 


Lear to Fortescue. 

CORFU. loth January 1864. 

I CAME here yesterday at noon . . . the passage 
to Calais was dreadful, nor could we pass the 
bar until too late to catch the afternoon train to Paris. 
Hence 13 hours of an at-e very-station -stopping train, 
and consequent obligation to sleep at Paris all the 
following day till noon. Paris was cold too, but 
that fact gave me an opportunity of seeing the 
Prince Imperial, 1 who, in a carriage and four, stopped 
to gaze at the swans in the Tuileries gardens, ice- 
begirt and crumb-desiring. Lots of little gamins 
stopped also and inspected the imperial child as he 
did the swans. . . . 

George Cocali was all ready for me, and today 
everything is so regular and matter of-course that 
I don't seem to have been absent an hour. The 

1 Napoleon Eugene Louis, only son of Napoleon III., born 
1856, killed in Zululand June i, 1879. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

odd pounds extra, purchase comfort in home and 
service very cheaply. . . . The domestic intelligence 
I have heard is that Colquhoun still holds off the 
Palace but the Sargents have had a formal recon- 
ciliation with the Lord High Lady S. not being, 
I should imagine, either able or inclined to forfeit 
any amount of social position. . . . 

Monday, nth. I dined at the Palace yester- 
day. . . . Sir Henry was as ever absolutely amiable 
and gentlemanlike, or as some one here says, he 
" never forgets that he is the representative of the 
Queen for one moment." 

Alas ! as for Corfu I can say little yet : all the less 
that 10 shillings worth of letters have just come full 
of Post Office Orders and cheques from " silly swells " 
who couldnt pay their subscriptions 3 weeks ago 
however I entreated them to do so. 

But there is not only great excitement here, great 
sorrow and perplexity also, and discomfort. And, it 
seems to me, unless you governing folk shew a little 
less hard redtapism to these islands verily, their 
cession will be a millstone about the neck of the 
liberal party for long days to come. It is however 
so very difficult to gather or sift untruth from truth, 
and we are all so in the dark as to what is to take 
place, that it is simply folly to talk or write. Yet it 
is the first time I have ever seen a community so 
singularly and uncomfortably placed. . . . (Sir H. S. 
takes 10 copies of my book, which is highly brick- 
like). . . . 


Last Visit to Corfu 

15 January 1864. 

Feby. 7. The good intents of the above date never 
bore fruit an unprolific datetree. . . . On Friday 
evening the Lord High sent me your letters of the 
1 7th and 26th, so I shall write today instead of going 
to church, relaxing my labour from time to time by 
snatches of the " Daily Telegraph," Kenan's Jesus, 
Miss Rowan's Meditations on Death, Newman's 
Phases of Faith, Froude's Elizabeth, and Colenso's 
4th part. And the better my beloved brethren to 
set forth the varied subjects which I shall bring under 
your consideration, I shall first proceed to look through 
your letter, and reply more or less to the heads thereof. 

My flight it seems was by no means too soon . . . 
yet after 7 months of darkness and filth you will all as 
usual talk about the " climate of England " as the 
"best in the world." So God tempereth the wind to 
the shorn lamb : so the Esquimaux believes that train 
oil is before all food the most excellent. 

Your account of the gaieties at Strawberry Hill are 
a pleasant contrast to the misery and bitter cold one 
reads of all over the kingdom. . . . The dance must 
have looked well. . . , (Talking of dances, the last 
6 \ff\aroQ \opoq ) was given by Sir H. S. on Friday 
night. I was not well enough to go, or I could have 
well liked to see the latest sparks of Anglo- Corfiote 
gaiety ere all goes out in darkness. . . . 

The poor Duke of Newcastle! I extracted the 
lines you wrote about him, and sent what I had 
copied to Sir Henrv, who wrote back a few words : 


Letters of Edward Lear 

he is much distressed about the Duke's health. I had 
supposed Lord Wodehouse l would succeed him. 
Who would be if any the House of Commons 
possible Colonial Secretary ? 2 I hope whoever he 
may be in the Peers, that you will keep your place : 
the labor which that involves during a part of the 
year is in my humble opinion compensated for by 
other good. I should have been glad to see you a 
Cabinet minister, because I have always believed 
you would do good as such. What does my lady 
say ? I wish she had a more decided turn for colonial 
politics, for in spite of H.I.M. Nap. 3's assertion that 
it is the mission of woman to think of God and not of 
the world, I believe that women of talent do and can 
do and have done, a vast amount of good in the 
political atmosphere. (They also do a devilish deal 
of harm, as I should think the said Emperor knows 
well.) However, let me know what you do. Most 
probably you will be saved any decision before long, 
by a Derby govt. coming in for a time : tho' after 
that, Gladstone is the coming man (&a TO tear !/).3 

You ask about the state of public feeling here, a 
question not easy to answer. The decree about the 
non-destruction of the forts of course was soothing, 
but (I judge only by Lady W.'s talk, as she seems 
to me ever to hold a brief of hatred for the Greeks), 
they say " no thanks to the English for that : you 

1 Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 1859-61. 

2 The Duke of Newcastle resigned in March for reasons of 
health, and Mr. Cardwell succeeded him. 3 According to me. 


J ? 

Last Visit to Corfu 

wished \.o leave the place in ruin, but the K. of Greece 
threatened to go if you did, and you were forced 
to give way," which I suppose is bosh. Lady W. 
denies we have ever done any good here but when 
I stop this nonsense by saying, " Well, well, at all 
events then if we have been as bad as you say, the 
ground will soon be cleared of us " she instantly 
turns round and says " but nobody wants you to go 
your going will occasion great misery etc : etc : " 
" Then why did the Ionian Parliament continually 
vote for annexation ? " " Parliament indeed ! " she 
answers "do you call 42 or 50 democrats public 
opinion ? " " Then why," say I, " if that is so trifling, 
why did not the lonians prevent its eternal repetition 
by electing other deputati ? " On which she says " but 
do take some coffee," and twists the converse all awry. 
Meanwhile the cannon are all taken down from the 
Fort Neuf etc : etc : and as soon as the 6th go (under 
orders for Jamaica), Vido will be emptied and blown 
up or down. There are however many who have 
no belief^, all in our ultimate departure. The Turk 
Albanian Beys opposite go into strong convulsions of 
laughter at the idea, (so officers tell me who come from 
Parga, Delvino etc : ) and a mass of the lower orders 
here also do not credit it, but believe some dodges will 
turn up and keep us in the islands, or at all events in 
this island. On the other hand, dismay and distress 
pervade whole classes. Domestic servants, yachtsmen, 
innkeepers, small shops etc : etc : see before them 
simply blank new beginnings of life how or where 


Letters of Edward Lear 

they know not. My man's whole family think of 
migrating to Patras, or the Piraeus. The warlike 
Danish-German news of the last few days r compli- 
cates matters still more. It will be funny if war with 
Austria arises, and a fleet come down from Cattaro 
and chaw us up suddenly, when the guns are 

As for poor Sir Henry Storks, you say well, he will 
be glad to go indeed. I know of no position much 
sadder than his for nearly five years working hard 
always, with a self-negation and conscientiousness not 
to be surpassed. Yet it may be truly said that he lives 
a life of most painful loneliness, all the more dreary 
that his efforts to do right as a public man have been 
met with such small appreciation by the British fool, 
not to say by abuse from those who should have 
known better than to make grave matters of right 
and wrong, handles for mere party violence. The 
2 A.D.C.s (Baring 2 and Strahan3) are valuable to 
Sir H. S., but, tho' very clever, they are young. 
/ think that any letter you write to him now he will 
be pleased with : the Duke's illness affects him, and 
he seems to me to feel any kindness coming from 

1 The dispute about the Schleswig-Holstein succession, 
plunged Denmark into war with Germany and Austria in the 
spring of this year, and for a time there was a fear that England 
might also be involved. 

2 Now Lord Cromer, whose later history has been the history 
of Egypt. 

3 Afterwards Governor of Tasmania, the Windwards Isles, 
&c., &c. 


Last Visit to Corfu 

England ; and I think too that much which has been 
said and written of him by people or with the know- 
ledge of people who were once his friends, has hurt 
him at times a good deal. So, q.e.d. as you say 
Storks will be glad to get away. . . . 

My life here (barring blowing my nose and lying in 
bed ill,) has been of the most regular order, and it is 
a grim fact that never more when I go hence can 
I look for similar "there is no joy but calm." . . . 
Having " put by " ^300 9 a year for life is the 
result of my labor but qua ready money, and the 
necessity of getting it by work, things are as they 
were before the fathers fell asleep. . . . 

The new Italian Consul's wife or sister plays in the 
most beanlike and beneficial manner. By April or 
May at furthest, I shall hope to be fixed as to fixing 
or unfixing : perhaps I may go about in an unfixed mode 
continually and evermore. What's the odds ? . . . 
The two or three months of hard writing before 
I left England have sickened me of pen and ink, 
and I shall henceforth write MUCH LESS than formerly. 
Please to accept this as a nintimation or warning. 
Have you read Abbe Michaud's " Maudit"? Burton's 
Abeokuta ? Speke's Nile ? Froude's Elizabeth ? 
Kingsley's Water babies ? I aive. . . . Catch then o 
catch the transient owr, improve each momient as 
it flies, man's a short summer life's a flower, he dize 
alas ! how soon e dize. Goodbye. 

P.S. I will go to church this afternoon to pray 
that your toes may not be frozen off, and that it 


Letters of Edward Lear 

may please God to shew you the sun once or twice in 
the next 4 months. 

March 31. 1864 (6 a.m.) 

Your letter of the 24th came yesterday, and I 
communicated its sad contents to Sir Henry. Poor 
Duke of Newcastle ! A life of no great joy has his 
been : I am all the more interested about him just 
now that I have been reading Kinglake's Crimea. 1 
But who would be Under-Secretary if Cardwell 2 is 
C. O. Secy ? I had fancied at times that in that case 
you might be "called to the Upper House," and keep 
your place. However, as at no very great distance 
there must be still greater changes, you would turn up 
I suppose in some fresh formation of a Ministry. I 
somehow don't like your sitting down at 41 into 
private life the more that your last speech as I read 
it in the " Times " on Gregory's motion, was about 
the best I think you ever made. 

I don't ever wonder at your not writing. I only 
wonder anybody ever writes at all. For myself I have 
had such a dreadful dose of it last year about that 
book, and am still hopelessly endeavouring to get 
in subscriptions, that I abhor the sight of a pen, and if 
I were an angel I would immediately moult all my 
quills for fear of their being used in calligraphy. . . . 

1 The Duke of Newcastle undertook the charge of the War 
Department when the Crimean War broke out. 

2 W. E. Forster and Sir F. L. Rogers were the Under- Secre- 
taries when Mr. Cardwell was at the head of the Colonial 


Last Visit to Corfu 

My beautiful rooms are already taken by others, 
so there is an end of Corfu life, and this is the last 
letter you will most probably ever receive from the 

I am not yet certain if I shall go straight to Athens 
and then . . . return to Syra and so to Crete. . . . 
After some 6 or 7 weeks in Crete, I should in any 
case return to Athens, and there look about for 
a possible winter home. . . . To make a future winter 
settlement nearer England is difficult Nice is 
crowded and Anglo-vulgar : Rome and its priests, 
as well as its forced art-quackery atmosphere I 
detest. . . . You see therefore that as the little fish 
said in the Pacific, I am at sea : nor will much 
more be assured till I have been to visit the owls of 

And indeed glad shall I be to go. The place is 
all altered and sad and there is no pleasure to me in 
seeing the daily explosions and ruins of fine masonry 
and picturesque lines. Moreover the angry and 
violent feeling against everything English is disagree- 
able, tho' it is not so general as it seems. You know 
I dare say that the Bishop (always the prime agitator 
for the Union,) is now the head of a very ferocious 
Club, who are publishing a paper of the utmost 
virulence against us, calculated to stir up all the 
idle and intriguing in our disfavour. Such " facts " as 
the open insulting of " Greek " women on the 
Esplanade by " parties of brutal English sailors " 
might excite your astonishment, as they do mine : 

305 x 

Letters of Edward Lear 

but in the present state of things the assertion of good 
old Basilia Kokali (my servant's mother,) that in 
50 years of English rule she has never known one 
female insulted by soldiers or sailors, goes for 

The truth seems to me this : A great party, 
naturally regretting the English going and more- 
over, another party who desired it but yet justly 
appreciated our actions, would all have united to 
make public demonstrations of respect and friend- 
liness etc : on our leaving the island. This I know 
to be the case from various people who declare they 
are grieved that they cannot now make any manifes- 
tation in our favour. The handle given by the 
Fortress dismantling to the democratic party, is 
therefore one I believe they are delighted to get. 
It is of course of great importance to the annexation 
party that no demonstration in an opposite sense, or 
such as could by any possibility be construed should 
be made : and now I do not expect any one will dare 
openly wish us *' Godspeed." 

For myself I avoid as much as I can speaking 
on the subject at all, but I cannot avoid making 
allowances for those who are constantly having the 
irritating sight of the forts being blown up now 
for many weeks the almost daily object nor can 
I wonder at their vexation when they hear of parties 
going over "to see the beautiful blow up, "etc: etc: 
When I am forced into talking, I do all I can (as 
Mr. Gregory didn't) to show them how far better 


Last Visit to Corfu 

it would be to weigh this fortress Wrong if wrong it 
be against the benefits England has given them, a 
useless task however, in their present mood. " Do 
you think" said one to me, "that if you give me a 
thousand pounds, and then box my ears, that the 
last act would not outweigh the first although 
in itself the last is trifling." But the very addition 
to this which a second speaker instantly gave, con- 
vinced me that I am right in believing the " Fortress 
Question" is a godsend to the violent party. The 
speaker was an amiable man and desirous of softening 
down his friend's observations. "In somma," said 
he, " la politica esige che si alza la voce contro 
1'Inghilterra." l It is I think, much to be regretted 
that this " alzando la voce " was so supplied them 
by ourselves. 

Meanwhile the mass of the people behave quite 
well, and individually nothing uncourteous is said 
or done to anyone. Sir Henry walks about every- 
where, and is treated with the same respect as ever. 
He is a splendid fellow, and has a most difficult 
part to play for C. and others nameless, who 
should work with him are against him. I suppose 
you will make him a " Barnet " as Lady Young used 
to say, or a Peer if he goes to any higher post. 
If ever he goes to Ceylon I will certainly then go out 
to India. . . . The reports here of all possible sorts 
are endless ; Woodhouse, Taylor Sanders, are named 

1 " In short politics exact, that our voices should be raised 
against England." 


Letters of Edward Lear 

as to be the consul. " The church is to be turned into 
a theatre as a mark of disprezzo " etc : So you see, 
the place is all breaking up and blowing up and 
bebothered and boshed. 

. . . Poor Christo Kokali, my man's brother, ill of 
consumption for four years, has now it seems really 
taken to die. And George has therefore a double 
journey to his mother's daily, and to sit up all night 
besides the lots of rough extra work all this "exodus" 
begets. Thunderstorms and violent squalls make life 
disgusting : add also that a gas company has turned 
up all the streets for pipes, and as I fall into the 
beastly trenches, I can say truly "you have piped unto 
me, but I have not danced." . . . Goodbye, my last 
furniture is going. I shall sit upon an eggcup and 
eat my breakfast with a pen. . . . 


April 8 1864. 

I hope you got a letter from me just before I left 
Corfu, of which place I am now cut adrift, though 
I cannot write the name without a sort of pang. 
Nothing could be sadder or more painful and vexing 
than the latter days I passed there. Everyone either 
miserable for going away or miserable at being 
left : while angry passions and suppressed violence 
were abundant, The brutal old Dandolo l put forth 
three days before I came off the foulest pamphlet 

1 One of the leaders of the extreme Radicals and Anglophobes 
in the Ionian Parliament. 


Last Visit to Corfu 

against England a man could read, (dated of course 
prior to the explanatory discussion in the House 
though he knew very well doubtless that he was 
writing lies) You may judge of the tone of this letter 
(to Lord Russell), when I tell you besides that it 
touched on all the crimes, real and imputed, which 
have been considered English for centuries of history 
that its last words are " we lonians thank you 
that you have left us our hands and tongues ; with the 
one to write your infamy with the other to utter 
threefold curses on your head." Poor Lord John ! 
I hope he will survive that. 

I was not able to finish this letter before I left 
Athens . . . Before I left Corfu I was quite sure that 
a great the greatest part of the ill-feeling against 
us was brought out by the insidious ways of certain 
people. No governor of a province has ever had 
a harder task than Sir H. Storks, whose conduct has 
been in all respects A. No. i as Lord High Com- 
missioner, and I shall always remember his kindness 
to me gratefully. 




The following is an incomplete list, for several pictures painted for my uncle and aunt, 
Lord Clermont, and Sir Spencer Robinson are not included, and probably many 
others of which I do not know, are also missing. This list, I believe, was drawn up 
by Mr. Lear at San Remo for circulation among his friends and others, partly by 
way of advertisement, and partly to give an idea of the work he had executed and 
the patronage he had received. At this present time very few, if any, of those 
named survive, but I have wished to reproduce this list exactly from the original, 
made in 1877, by Mr. Lear. 


Painted for, or Purchased by 

1. Rome, from the Lateran The late R. A. Hornby, Esq. 

2. Valmontone The late Lord Charles Bertie Percy. 

3. Rome. Borghese Gardens Mrs. Pitney Martin. 

4. Rome. Arco Oscuro Mrs. Pitney Martin. 

5. Civitella di Subiaco Edward, Thirteenth Earl of Derby. 

6. Olevano Edward, Thirteenth Earl of Derby. 


7. Rome, from the Lateran Lord Crewe. 

8. Rome. Gardens of St. Buenaventura . . . Lord Crewe. 

9. Rome. Tomb on the Campagna Lord Crewe. 

10. Lord Crewe. 

ii- Lord Crewe. 

12. Lord Crewe. 

13. Rome. Tomb near Porta Pia Thomas Tatton, Esq. 

14. Rome. View from Monte Mario Thomas Tatton, Esq. 

15. Olevano T. Bonham Carter, Esq. 

16. St. Peter's, from D. Pamfili Gardens ... The late Lord Wenlock. 
17- Licenza Rev. W. H. Empson. 

Letters of Edward Lear 


Painted for, or Purchased by 

18. Rome. Via Appia Mrs. Hudson. 

19. Rome. Claudian Acqueduct Ralph Barnes, Esq. 

20. Rome. Cecilia Metella The late Lady Hornby. 

21. Rome. Tor di Schiavi The late Lady Hornby. 

22. Rome. Tor di Schiavi The late T. G. Fonnereau, Esq. 

23. Naples The late George Cartwright, Esq. 

24. Amalfi The late George Cartwright, Esq. 

25. Amalfi The late George Cartwright, Esq. 

26. Cefalu. Sicily The late Colonel C. Hornby. 

27. Rome. Campagna ... ... ... ... W. Hives, Esq. 

28. Rome. Tomb near Porta Pia Rev. E. Goddard. 

29. Rome. View from Monte Mario Rev. E. Goddard. 


30. Civitella di Subiaco The late Rev. James J. Hornby. 

31. Civita Castellana The late Rev. James J. Hornby. 

32. LakeofAlbano The late George Cartwright, Esq. 

33. LakeofAlbano The late George Cartwright, Esq. 

34. Lake of Fucino, Abruzzi The late M. J. Higgins, Esq. 

35. Rome. Claudian Acqueduct The late M. J. Higgins, Esq. 

36. Isola di Monte Corno, Abruzzi Miss Westcomb. 

37. Nemi Miss Westcomb. 

38. San Pelino. Abruzzi ... Lord Wenlock. 


39. Celano. Abruzzi . Lord Wenlock. 

40. Monreale. Sicily ... The late Mrs. Huskisson. 

41. Partenigo. Sicily The late Mrs. Huskisson. 

42. Quarries of Syracuse ... ... ... The late Mrs. Huskisson. 

43. Valmontone The late C. Scrace Dickens, Esq. 

44. San Vito The late C. Scrace Dickens, Esq. 

45. Frascati Miss Sarah Markham. 

46. Pergolata, or Vine Terrace Mrs. Palmes. 


47. Valmontone Hon. Mrs. Greville-Howard. 

48. Rome. La Madonna del Sorbo ... ... Hon. Mrs. Greville-Howard. 

49. Rome. Claudian Acqueducts ... ... Samuel Gurney, Esq. 

50. Rome. Tiber and Via Salara The late John Battersby Harford, Esq. 

51. Rome. Veii The late Earl Canning. 

52. Naples Earl of Dudley. 


53. Tivoli E. Carleton Holmes, Esq. 

54. Caprarola Thomas Bell, Esq. 

55. Rome. Tor Sant 'Eusebio The late General Rawdon. 



Painted for, or Purchased by 

56. Girgenti. Sicily The late John S. Harford, Esq. 

57. Antrodoco. Abruzzi The late Dowager Marchioness 


58. Pescina. Abruzzi T. Gambier Parry, Esq. 


59. Palermo. Sicily The late Peter F. Andre, Esq. 

60. LakeofNemi The late Mrs. Huskisson. 

61. Cerbara di Subiaco The late Mrs. Huskisson. 

62. Rome. Madonna di Divin' Amore ... The late Baroness Windsor. 

63. Rome. Via Tiburtina Charles Henry, Esq. 

64 Rome. Claudian Acqueducts Charles Henry, Esq. 

65. Arundel Henry Willett, Esq. 

66. Tivoli. Villa d'Este Mrs. R. Markham. 

67. Civitella di Subiaco Sir Francis H. Goldsmid, Bart., M.P. 

68. Rome. Via Cassia The late William Earle, Esq. 

69. Tivoli Mrs. Hornby. 

70. Rome. Veii J. Ridgway, Esq. 

71. Rome. Via Cassia J. Ridgway, Esq. 


72. Mount Sinai Rev. John E. Cross. 

73. Rome. Claudian Acqueducts ... ., John G. Blencowe, Esq. 

74. Rome. Claudian Acqueducts The late Miss Duckworth. 

75. Akhrida. Albania The late Miss Duckworth. 

76. Karytena. Greece Thomas Bell, Esq. 


77. Athens. The Acropolis Edward, Thirteenth Earl of Derby. 

78. Corfu Lord Wenlock. 


79. Athens Lord Wenlock. 

80. Sparta Lord Wenlock. 

81. Girgenti. Sicily Thomas H. Wyatt, Esq. 

82. Monastery of Meteora Henry Willett, Esq. 

83. Pentedatelo. Calabria Sybilla, Lady Lyttelton. 

84. Parnassus The late Richard, First Lord Westbury. 

85. Rome. Via Appia William Langton, Esq. 

86. Mount Tomohr. Albania Louisa, Lady Ashburton. 


87. Rome, near Ponte Mammolo Lady Caroline Legge. 

88. Rome. Crescenza, or Poussin's Castle ... Mrs. E. Blackmore. 

89. Taormina. Sicily The Hon. Mrs. Greville-Howard. 

90. Venosa. Apulia The late Mrs. Empson. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Painted for, or Purchased by 

91. Reggio. Calabria ............ Mrs. William Rawson. 

92. Thermopyloe. Greece ......... The late William F. Beadon, Esq. 

93. Athens ............... The late G. R. Smith, Esq. 

94. Argostoli. Kephalonia ......... Rev. H. P. Wright. 

95. Marathon. Greece ......... Mrs. George Clive. 

96. Quarries of Syracuse, Sicily ...... Alfred Tennyson, Esq., Poet Laureate, 


97. Quarries of Syracuse, Sicily. (Art Union 

Prize) ............... Earl of Beauchamp. 

98. Mount Sinai ............ T. Gambier Parry, Esq. 

99. Civitella di Subiaco, looking South ... Lord Carlingford. 

100. Windsor Castle ............ Edward, Fourteenth Earl of Derby. 

101. Nile, Philce, looking South ...... Alfred Seymour, Esq. 

102. Nile, Kom Ombos ............ Earl of Northbrook. 


103. On the Nile ............... S. W. Clowes, Esq., M.P. 

104. On the Nile ............... S. W. Clowes, Esq., M.P. 

105. The Jungfrau, Interlaken ......... S. W. Clowes, Esq., M.P. 

106. El Koorneh Thebes ......... Mrs. George Scrivens. 

107. Pyramids of Ghizeh ......... The late Frederick North, Esq., M.P. 

108. Pyramids of Ghizeh ......... The late Frederick North, Esq., M.P. 

109. Monastir. Macedonia ......... S. W. Clowes, Esq., M.P. 

no. Licenza ... ............ Lord Aberdare. 

in. Rome. Via Nomentana ......... S. W. Clowes, Esq., M.P. 

112. Temple of Bassse. Greece ...... Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. 


113. The Matterhorn ............ Bernard Husey-Hunt, Esq. 

114. Nile. Philce, Morning, looking South ... The late Sir John Potter, M.P. 

115. Nile. Philce, Morning, looking South ... Mrs. George Scrivens. 

116. Nile. Philce, looking North ...... The late William Nevill, Esq. 

117. Civitella di Subiaco, Sunrise ...... The late William Nevill, Esq. 


118. Nile. Philce, looking West ...... Henry F. Walter, Esq. 

119. Nile. Philce, Morning, looking South ... George Clive, Esq., M.P. 

120. Parnassus ............... Franklin Lushington, Esq. 

121. Nile. Philce, Sunset, looking South ... Franklin Lushington, Esq. 

122. Nile. Philce, Sunset, looking South ... The late Lord Lisgar. 

123. Nile. Phiice, Sunset, looking South ... Lord Carlingford. 

124. Nile. Kasr es Saad ......... The late Sir John Simeon, Bart., M.P. 

125. Corfu, from Kastrades ......... Robert D. Drewitt, Esq. 



126. Corfu, from Ascension. 

127. Corfu, from Gastouri 

128. Corfu, from Gastouri 

Painted for, or Purchased by 
Morning ... Lady Reid. 

The late General Mackintosh. 

The late General Mackintosh. 

129. Corfu, 

130. Corfu, 

131. Mount 

132. Corfu, 

133. Mount 

134. Corfu, 

135. Corfu, 

136. Mount 

137. Philoe, 


from Ascension, Evening 
from below Ascension 


from Gastouri 


from Ascension 
from Ascension 
Athos. Stavronikites 
Sunset, looking South 

T. William Evans, Esq., M.P. 

Alfred Seymour, Esq. 

The late Frederick North, Esq., M.P. 

Henry F. Walter, Esq. 

The late John Battersby Harford, Esq. 

The late John Batterbsy Harford, Esq. 

The late Mrs. Empson. 

The late Mrs. Empson. 

Edgar A. Drummond, Esq. 


138. Zagori, Albania Julian Goldsmid, Esq., M.P. 

139. Philiates, Albania Thomas H. Wyatt, Esq. 

140. Constantinople ... ... ... ... A. De Vere Beauclerk, Esq. 

141. Mount Athos. St. Paul A. De Vere Beauclerk, Esq. 

142. Mount Athos, Iviron A. De Vere Beauclerk, Esq. 

143. Nile. Philce, Sunset, looking South ... Augustus Chetwode, Esq. 

144. Corfu, from Garuna ... ... ... Edward Baring, Esq. 

145. Corfu, from Kastrades Franklin Lushington, Esq. 

146. Corfu, from below Ascension Franklin Lushington, Esq. 

147. Joannina. Albania The late Sir John Simeon, Bart., M.P. 

148. Jerusalem, Sunrise The late Sir James Reid. 

149. Jerusalem, Sunset Frances, Countess Waldegrave. 

150. Masada, on the Dead Sea, Sunset ... Frances, Countess Waldegrave. 

151. Nile. Philoe, looking South, Sunset ... The late Captain Huish. 

152. Jerusalem, Sunset Bernard Husey-Hunt, Esq. 

153. Bethlehem Bernard Husey-Hunt, Esq. 

154. Jerusalem Lord Clermont. 


155. Mount Athos Lord Clermont. 

156. Corfu, from Ascension T. Bailey Potter, Esq., M.P. 

157. Mount Athos. Pantokratora T. Bailey Potter, Esq., M.P. 

158. Corfu, from Ascension ... The late S. Price Edwards, Esq. 

159. Petra. The Theatre ... .- ... The late S. Price Edwards, Esq. 

160. Rome. Claudian Acqueducts Arthur Heywood, Esq. 

161. Petra. The Great Cliff Sir Thomas Fairbairn, Bart. 

162. Parnassus Earl of Northbrook. 

163. loannina. Albania Miss Yates 

164. Rome. Via Appia Captain R. O'B. Jameson. 

165. Palermo Lord Carlingford. 


Letters of Edward Lear 


Painted for, or Purchased by 

166. Palermo ... ... ... ... ... William R. Sandbach, Esq. 

167. Palermo T. Bailey Potter, Esq., M.P. 

168. MarSabbas... ... ... ... ... The late Captain Huish. 

169. Rome. Quarries of Cerbara F. Waymouth Gibbs, Esq. 

170. The Dead Sea George Clive, Esq., M.P. 

171. Parnassus ... ' Harvie Farquhar, Esq. 

172. Parnassus Lord Clermont. 

173. Parnassus Lord Aberdare. 

174. Rome. Alexandrian Acqueducts ... Henry R. Stansfeld, Esq. 

175. Rome. The Tiber at Ponte Molle ... Henry R. Stansfeld, Esq. 

176. Rome. Quarries of Cerbara Richard Bright, Esq., M.P. 

177. Rome. The Tiber at Ponte Molle ... S. F. Widdington, Esq. 

178. Nuneham Park, Oxford Frances, Countess Waldegrave. 

179. Nuneham Park, Oxford Frances, Countess Waldegrave. 


180. Bethlehem S. Price Edwards, Esq. 

181. Interlaken T. William Evans, Esq., M.P. 

182. Beirut Edgar A. Drummond, Esq. 

183. Damascus Thelate Humphrey Mildmay,Esq., M.P. 

184. Masada, on the Dead Sea, Sunrise ... Sybilla, Lady Lyttelton. 

185. Cedars of Lebanon Louisa, Lady Ashburton. 

186. Villa Petraja, Florence Frances, Countess Waldegrave. 

187. Schloss Elz. Moselle ... ... ... Mrs. Scrivens. 

188. Mount Athos Mrs. Scrivens. 

189. The Plain of Thebes The late W. Whitmore, Esq. 

190. The Plain of Thebes George Clive, Esq., M.P. 

191. The Dead Sea Lord Clermont. 

192. The Matterhorn Franklin Lushington, Esq. 

193. loannina. Albania ... Capt. R. O'B. Jameson. 


194. Florence Sir Thomas Fairbairn, Bart. 

195. Mount Athos. S. Dionisio Sir Francis H. Goldsmid, Bart. 

196. Nile. Philoe, Sunset, looking South ... Henry R. Grenfell, Esq. 

197. Turin The late S. Price Edwards, Esq. 

198. Corfu, from Ascension Admiral Sir R. Spencer Robinson. 

199. Lake of Butrinto. Albania Dowager Viscountess Downe. 

200. Corfu, from Ascension A. H. Novelli, Esq. 

201. Corfu, from Ascension The late Miss Julia Goldsmid. 

202. Corfu, from Ascension Major P. A. Reynolds. 

203. loannina. Albania Sir Thomas Fairbairn, Bart. 

204. Nile. Philce, Sunset, looking West ... H.R.II. Due d'Aumale. 

205. Mount Olympus. Thessaly ... ... Edgar A. Drummond, Esq. 

206. Corfu, from Gastouri Mrs. W. Prescott. 

207. Corfu, from Ascension Mrs. W. Prescott. 



Painted for, or Purchased by 

208. Corfu, from below Ascension Rev. John E. Cross. 

209. Corfu, from Psorarus ... ... ... Admiral Sir Spencer Robinson. 

210. Corfu, from Santa Dekka ... ... ... Rev. John E. Cross. 

211. Mont Blanc. Pont Pellissar Charles S. Roundell, Esq. 

212. The Dead Sea Charles S. Roundell, Esq. 

213. Porto Tre Scoglie. Albania Franklin Lushington, Esq. 

214. Beachy Head Henry R. Grenfell, Esq. 

215. Argostoli. Kephalonia Lord Aberdare. 

216. Campagna di Roma, Via Prenestina ... Sir Walter James, Bart. 

217. Campagna di Roma, Tor de 'Schiavi ... Frances, Countess Waldegrave. 

218. Jerusalem, from Mount Scopus The late S. Price Edwards, Esq. 

219. Venice Frances, Countess Waldegrave. 

220. Venice, Sunset Henry Willett, Esq. 

221. Beirut Rev. J. Lomax Gibbs. 

222. Beirut Rev. John E. Cross. 

223. Cliffs of Cenc, Gozo Charles S. Roundell, Esq. 

224. Campagna di Roma Sybilla, Lady Lyttelton. 

225. Campagna di Roma ... ... ... Sybilla, Lady Lyttelton. 

226. Cedars of Lebanon Charles S. Roundell, Esq. 


227. Piana Rocks, Corsica Sir Francis H. Goldsmid, Bart., M. P. 

228. Bavella, Corsica ... ... ... ... Sir Francis H. Goldsmid, Bart., M.P. 

229. Valdoniello, Corsica George S. Venables, Esq., M.P. 

230. Bonifazio, Corsica Edward, Fifteenth Earl of Derby. 

231. Nile. Sheikh Abadeh Lady Robinson. 

232. Nile. Kasr es Saad ... George Brightwen, Esq. 


233. Nile. Negadeh Miss Ewart. 

234. Nile. Bab el Kalabshe Miss C. Macdonald Lockhart. 

235. Nile. El Luxor Rev. Walter Clay. 

236. Citadel of Corfu Walter Evans, Esq. 


237. Nile Boat, before Sunrise Mr. Hooper. 

238. Nile Boat, Mid-day George Drummond, Esq. 

239. Corfu, from Ascension Edward, Fifteenth Earl of Derby. 

240. Campagna di Roma. Quarries of Cerbara Walter Congreve, Esq. 

241. Campagna di Roma. Quarries of Cerbara Walter Congreve, Esq. 

242. Marathon. Greece Right Honourable W. E. Forster, M.P- 

243. Thermopylae. Greece Augustus Harcourt, Esq. 

244. Corfu Citadel Henry Kneeshaw, Esq. 

245. Florence Mrs. Ramsay. 

246. Mount Sinai C. Allanson Knight, Esq. 

247. Damascus Duke of Argyll. 

248. Beirut Mrs. William Rawson. 


Letters of Edward Lear 

, Painted for, or Purchased by 

249. Ravenna Forest Charles S. Roundell, Esq. 

250. Vintimiglia George Nicholl, Esq. 

251. Nile. Kasr es Saad Captain Alfred M. Drummond. 

252. Nile. Ibreem T. William Evans, Esq., M.P. 

253. Nile. Sunset. First Cataract Ernest Noel, Esq., M.P. 

254. Palermo ... ... ... ... ... Edgar A. Drummond, Esq. 

255. Nile. Shadoofs Thomas Seeley, Esq., M.P. 

256. Nile. Sakkias Thomas Seeley, Esq., M.P. 

257. Nile. Kasr es Saad Louisa, I^ady Ashburton, 

258. Coast of Albania 

259. Corfu Franklin Lushington, Esq. 

260. Corfu Franklin Lushir.gton, Esq. 

261. Megaspelion. Greece Thomas Hanbury, Esq. 

262. Bethlehem C. Allanson Knight, Esq. 

263. Nile. Approach to Philce Miss C. Macdonald Lockhart. 

264. Nile. Sunset, near Philoe Captain Alfred M. Drummond. 

265. Valdoniello 

266. Bethlehem 

267. Bavella 

268. Nile. Approach to Philoe Louisa, Lady Ashburton. 

269. Nile. Sunset, near Philoe Franklin Lushington, Esq. 

270. Blue Grotto. Capri W. Arnold Congreve, Esq. 

271. Rome. Via Appia Hubert Congreve, Esq. 

272. Pyramids of Ghizeh ... ... ... Earl of Northbrook. 

2 73- Pyramids of Ghizeh Earl of Northbrook. 

274. Plains of Bengal Earl of Northbrook. 

275. Kinchingunga Lord Aberdare. 

276. Kinchingunga Louisa, Lady Ashburton 

277. Nile. Pharaoh's Bed 

278. Nile. Approach to Philoe 

279. Mont Blanc. Col de Balme 

280. Mont Blanc. Cormayeur 

281. Mont Blanc. Mer de Glace 

282. Dead Sea, from Masada 

283. Cedars of Lebanon 

284. Rome. Buon Ricovero 

285. Rome. Via Nomentana 

286. Nile. Moonlight 

287. Pisa 

288. Lerici 

289. Mount Hermon 

290. Mount Athos 

291. Bavella. Corsica 

292. Parga 




Illustrations of the Family of the Psittacida; 1832 

J. Gould's Indian Pheasants 1832 

Gould's European Birds and Toucans... 
Testudinata, for Professor Bell 

Bell's British Mammalia \. ... from 1833 to 1836 

The volumes of Parrots, Monkeys, Cats, of the 

"Naturalist's Library," editor S. W. Jardine 

Views of Rome and its Environs. Two vols. 1841 

Journal of a Landscape Painter in Albania * 1851 

Journal of a Landscape Painter in Calabria *... ... ... ... ... 1852 

J. E. Gray's Gleanings from the Menagerie at Knowsley Hall (the bird 

portion) ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 1846 

First Book of Nonsense * 1846 

Second Book of Nonsense * 1846 

Views of the Ionian Islands * 1863 

Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica * 1870 

More Nonsense Pictures, Rhymes, Botany, &c. * 1872 

Laughable Lyrics : a fourth Book of Nonsense, &c. * 1877 

After Lear's death. 

Brought out by Lord Tennyson. 

Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Illustrated by Edward Lear 1889 

The above list of publications were all illustrated by Lear, but those marked 
with an asterisk were also written by him. In the capacity of an author, what 
is said of him in the preface to ' ' Poems by Alfred Lord Tennyson " is true : 
"Had Lear not been a painter, he might have been a popular and voluminous 
author of books of a high and sterling literary value. They varv personal 
adventure, gracefully told, with genuine research on topics of historical and 
antiquarian interest." These Journals, which are amusing and excellent reading, 
were very successful in their day. 

Of his series of " Nonsense," many editions have appeared since their first 
publication by Messrs. Warne & Co. in 1861, and I may mention that a further 
one is now being printed by them. 



ABERDARE, Lord, see Bruce, 

Academy, Royal, Lear joins 

the schools, 22, 23 
Albania, Lear's book on, xxix, 


Albert, Prince, 214 
Alfred, Prince, 259, 260 
Ansted, Professor, 275 
Antonelli, Cardinal, 158 
Apulia, 3 
Ardee, 52 if. 
Ashburton, Lady (Miss Mc- 

Kenzie), 117 
Athanasian Creed, the 138, 190, 

Athos, Mount, 38, 40 ff., 43, 49, 


D'Aumale, Due, 36, 255, 261 
Avellino, 3 

BAALBEC, 109, no 
Baring, see Cromer, Earl of 
Baring, T., see North brook, 

first Earl of 
Basilicata, 3 

Bassae, Lear's picture of, 155 
Beachy Head, 248, 249 
Beadon, Rev. F., 232 
Beattie, Dr., 102 
Beauclerk, Aubrey de Vere, 

I3 1 
Beaufort, Emily, 190, 193, 200 

Bell, Professor, xviii, xxviii 
Bennett, Rev. W. J. E., 30 
Bethell, Lady, 118, 130 

Bethell, Sir Richard (Lord 
Westbury), 27, 28, 140, 145, 
252, 253 

Bethlehem, 108 

Bizi, Sir Christopheros and 
Lady Kalikopolos Biletti, 259 

"Book of Nonsense, The," 
xiii, xxvi, xxvii, xxix, xxx, 
180, 199, 205, 210, 212, 219, 

222, 263 

Bowen, Sir George Ferguson, 

8, 9, 34, 39, 44, 5<>, 79, 131, 

Bowyer, Sir George, 147, 165, 

218, 250 

Braham, Charles, 36, 51 
Braham, John, 35 
Braham, Ward, 115, 218 
Braila, Sir Aristides and Lady, 


Bright, John, 146 
Bright, Richard, and Mrs., 126 
Brooke's " Borneo," 28 
Brougham, Lord, 201 
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 


Browning, Robert, 128, 169 
Browning (son of Robert and 

E. B. Browning), 193 
Bruce, Colonel, 222, 269 
Bruce, Henry (Lord Aberdare), 

59, 260 
Buller, Sir George and Lady, 

69, 78, 81, 88, 207, 223, 226, 

Bunsen, Baron and Baron ess, 63 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Bunsen, Theodore, 73, 74, 79 
Burke, Major, Miss, and R. 6., 

CALABRIA, Lear's tour in, i ; his 

volume on, xxix, 19 
Campbell, Colonel, 73, 79, 81 
Canning, Lady, wife of Lord 

Canning, 211, 212 
Canning, Lady, wife of Sir 

Stratford Canning, 12 
Canning, Lord, 8, 118, 135 
Canning, Sir Stratford, see 

Stratford de Redcliffe, Lord 
Cardwell, Edward, 300, 304 
Carlingford, Lord, see For- 

tescue, Chichester 
Carlisle, seventh Earl of, 218 
Carlyle, Thomas, 169, 170 
Carnarvon, Lord, 91 
Carter, Bonham, 7 
Caruso, Sir Gregory and Lady, 

258, 286, 288 
Casanova, General, 256 
Castel del Monte, 3 
Cathcart, Major Andrew, 159 
Cavendish, Hon. Adelaide, 288 
Cavendish, Miss, 131 
Cavour, Count, 171, 185 
Chalcis, ii 
Challoner, Mrs., 58 
Chartres, Due de, 178 
Chelmsford, Lord Chancellor, 

Chester, Miss, 148 

Cholmondeley, R., 139 
Church, Professor C. M., 9, 10, 

n, 21, 59, 221 
Churchill, Captain, 84 
Cialdini, General, 187 
Clancarty, Lady, 241 
Clanricarde, Lord, 91 
Clarendon, Lord, 118 
Clark, W. G., 199, 200 
Clark, Rev. , 83, 209 
Clermont, Lord, 31, 51, 52, 55, 

183, 227 
Clive, George, 6, 33, 50, 232,260 

Clive, Mrs., 6, 142, 260 

Clough, A. H., Lear's imitation 
of, 141 ff. 

Clowes, F., 88 

Clowes, S. W., 123, 124, 127, 
130, 152, 221 

Cobden, Richard, 146 

Colenso, Bishop, 251, 276, 

Colquhoun, Sir P. M'C., 207, 
258, 286, 298 

Consular reform, Lear's views 
on, 159 ff. 

Cooper, T., 265 

Corfu, Lear invited to, 9; letters 
from, 32-51, 61-93, 110-13, 
206-42, 256-80, 297-308 ; 
Lear's monotonous life in, 
65 ff. ; Gladstone sent as Com- 
missioner to, 121, 125 ; 
description of Paleokastrizza, 
234 ; annexation by Greece, 
298 ff. 

Cortazzi family, the, 47, 66, 68, 
73, 76 

Cramer, Lear's publisher, 120, 
132, 166 

Craven, Rev. , 240, 262, 

Creswick, Thomas, 259 

Cromer, Earl of, 302 

Cross, J., 113, 152, 221 

Cullen, Archbishop, 154, 218 

Gumming, Rev. Dr., 154 

Curcumell, Sir Demetrius and 
Lady, 258 

Curzon, Colonel Leicester, 244 

Cushman, Charlotte, 128 

Cust, Colonel, 102 

DAMASCHINO, Sir Philotheos 

and Lady, 258 
Dandolo, 308 
Dead Sea, the, 108 
Decie, Colonel and Mrs., 222 
Denison, Archdeacon, 30 
Denison, Lady, 137, 191 
Dennett, Miss, 82, 83, 87 



Derby, thirteenth Earl of, xviii, 
xxviii, 14, 15, 17, 18 

Derby, fourteenth Earl of, 90, 
135, 286 

Disraeli, Benjamin, 90, 125, 131, 

Drogheda, Marquis and Mar- 
chioness of, 46 

Dunglas, Lord, 102 

Dunne, Colonel F. P., 131 

EASTNOR, Lord, see Somers, 


Edwards, S. Price, 150, 194 
Egg, Augustus Leopold, 231 
Egypt, Lear's longing to see, 

8 ; his visits to, in 1854, 3 2 > 

in 1858, 95 

Eisenbach, Miss, 83, 84 
Ellenborough, Lord, 135 
Empson, Mrs., 62, 77, 137 
Empson, Rev. W. H., 137 
Erskine, Miss, 71, 84 
Essays and Reviews, 189, 209, 

214, 221 
Etna, 4 
Evans, Dr., 84 

FAIRBAIRN, T., 150, 198, 229, 


Fergusson, Sir J., 102 

Flamburiani, Sir Karalambos 
and Lady, 259 

Forster, the medium, 238 

Forster, W. E., 304 

Fort, Mrs., 229 

Fortescue, Chichester (Lord 
Carlingf ord), beginning of his 
friendship with Lear, xxii ff . ; 
his life as a young man, 1,2; 
Lear's advice to him about 
the Colonial Secretaryship, 
51 ; description of his life at 
Ardee, 53 ; letters from, 42, 
89, 247, 296 ; his reported 
appointment to Irish Chief 
Secretaryship, 188 ; his en- 
gagement to Lady Walde- 

grave, 247 ; his marriage, 

265, 267 
Fortescue, Colonel, of Dromis- 

kin, 7 

Fowler, D., 149 
Fox, General, 82 
Francis II. of Naples, 186 
Furville, Captain, 84 

GAGE, Colonel, 47, 79 
Gallenga, Antonio, 167 
Garibaldi, G., 133, 147, 176, 224 
Garrett, General Sir R, 257,258 
George I., King of Greece, 289 
Gibbs, F. W., 127, 134 
Gibson, John, sculptor, 124 
Gibson, Milner, 90 
Gladstone, W. E., 17, 30, 121, 

125, 131, 147, 258, 260, 300 
Goldsmid, Sir Francis, 183, 

198, 229 
Goldsmid, Miss Julia, 221 , 224, 

225, 227 

Gould, G. A., xviii, xxviii 
Goyon, General, 169 
Graham, The Rt. Hon. Sir J., 


Graham, Dr., in 
Granville, second Earl, 128 
Gray, Dr., of the British 

Museum, xviii, xxviii 
Greece, Lear's visit to in 1848, 

9 ff 
Greek, Lear's study of, 33, 43, 

67, 87, 212 
Grenfell, Henry, M.P., 212, 222, 

248, 250 

Grey, Sir George, 195 
Gully, Dr., 115 

HAMILTON, Chichester, 54 
Hamilton, Lord Claud, 151 
Hamilton, Jerrick, 198 
Hamilton, John, 54, 57 
Hampden, Bishop, 276 
Hansen, Lear's servant, 265 
Harcourt, C., 232 
Harcourt, Egerton, 126 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Harcourt, Lady Frances, 126 
Harcourt, George, 35, 126, 191, 

211, 213 ff. 
Harcourt, William, and Mrs., 

Hare, Mrs., mother of Augustus 

J. C. Hare, 131, 132 
Harford, J. B., 152, 153, 221 
Harrowby, Earl of, 201 
Havelock, Sir Henry, 58 
Hay, Robert, 124, 128 
Headfort, second Marquis and 

Marchioness of, 69, 71, 72, 

77, 79, 80, 84 
Hebron, 100 
Henchel von Donnesmarck, 

Count G., 226 
Hendon, Miss, 67 
Herbert, Colonel and Mrs., 84 
Herbert, Mrs. G., 6 
Herbert, R. G. W., 152 
Herbert, Sidney, 49, 147 
Hewitson, , 175 
Hey wood, Arthur, 134, 150 
Highgate, Lear's old home at, 


Holland, Sir Henry, 81 
Hornby, Captain Geoffrey, 228 
Hornby, Colonel, 198 
Hornby, J., of Winwick, 15, 

113, 146 

Hornby, Mrs., 136 
Hornby , Admiral Sir Phipps, 137 
Hornby, Robert, 20, 221 
Horton, Miss W., 6 
Hunt, W. Holman, xvi, 

xxxix, 34, 48, 49, 50, 85, 

in, 117, 119, 136, 148, 153, 

170, 196, 221, 231, 239 

Husey-Hunt, B., 85, 113, 119, 

152, 221 

INDIAN Mutiny, the, 86 
Inglis, General Sir John, 223, 

226, 228, 257 
Ipeica, 3 

JAFFA, 95 

Jardine, Sir William, xviii, xxviii 
Jerusalem, letters from, 94, 
no ; the Holy City de- 
scribed, 96, 106, 107 ; Lear's 
picture of, 99, 132, 133 ; 
factions in, 103 ; the 
Bishopric question, in 
Jocelyn, Lord (Earl of Roden), 


Joinville, Prince de, 178 
"Journals of a Landscape 

Painter," xxix, 19, 22 

KENNEDY, Dr., headmaster of 

Shrewsbury, 163 
Kestner, Chevalier, 270 
Kinglake, A. W., 238, 304 
Kirkwall, Viscount, 283 
Knight, C., 124, 128 
Knight, Isabella, 124, 128 
Knight, Margaret (Duchesse de 

Sermoneta), 124, 128 
" Knowsley Menagerie," the, 

xviii, 14 
Knowsley, 15 
Kokali, Basilia, 306 
Kokali, Christo, 308 
Kokali, Giorgio, xxxiv, xxxv, 

46, 124, 129, 163, 167, 233, 

265, 297, 308 
Kozziris, Lady Emily, 35, 83, 

209, 233, 241 
Kozziris, L. J. E., 68 

LABOUCHERE, Henry, see Taun- 

ton, Lord 

Lamoriciere, General, 171, 251 
Lansdowne, fourth Marquess 

of, 200, 259, 272 
Lascelles,The Hon. Emma, 287 
Leake, Colonel, 167 
Lear, Ann, xvii, 20, 97, 115, 119, 

15, 153, 154, 170, 208, 232, 

291 ; her last illness and 

death, 182 ff. 
Lear, Edward, quality of his 

humour, xiii ; the editor's 

memories of him, xv ; his 



birth and education, xvi ; his 
" Family of the Psittacidas," 
xvii ; his work for Lord 
Derby, xviii ff., xxviii ; his 
drawing-lessons to Queen 
Victoria, xx, xxi, xxix ; Mr. 
Wilfrid Ward's story of him, 
xxi, xxii ; beginning of his 
friendship with Fortescue, 
xxii ff. ; Ruskin's gratitude 
to him, xxvi ; an autobio- 
graphical letter, xxvii ff. ; his 
life after 1864, xxx ff. ; his 
Villa Emily, xxxii, and Villa 
Tennyson, xxxiv ; his resting- 
place, xxxv ; an appreciation 
of his art by Mr. Henry 
Strachey, xxxvi ff. 

Lear, Ellinor, 191, 223, 271 

Lear, Harriett, 140, 144, 145 

Lear, Mary, 154, 187 

Lear, Sarah, 153, 154, 170 

Lear, Sophy, 154 

Lebanon, 108, 109 

Leeds, the Dowager Duchess 
of, 285 

Lever, C. J., 195 

Lever's novels, 290 

Leycester (Penrhyn), Edward, 
116, 183 

Lindsay, Coutts, 63 

Lindsay, Miss, 6 

Luard, , 222 

Lucian, 75 

Lushington, Dr., 214, 221, 225 

Lushington, Franklin, 14, 18, 
34, 40, 44, 47, 65, 76, 79, 85, 
92, in, 113, 125, 148, 170, 

172, 197, 208, 221, 228 

Lydford, 17 ff. 
Lyle, , 175 
Lyons, Lord, 120 
Lytton, Sir E. Bulwer, 89, 121, 

MACBEAN, , 152 
Macdonald, Norman, 69 
Macfarlane, Mrs., 79 

Macguire, , 147 

Madox- Bromley, Sir Richard, 


Malcolm, Mrs., 217, 221 
Malta, a letter from, 243 ff . 
Manning, Cardinal, 132, 170, 

Marcoran, Sir George, 251, 258, 

Marguerite, Princess of Parma, 

Maria Nicolowiena, Grand 

Duchess, 128 
Marriage, Lear's views on, 29, 

135, 136 
Mar Saba, 108 
Marshall, James, 128 
Martineau, R. B., 148 
Masada, Lear's painting of, 70, 

86, 99, 100, 132 
Massala, 3 

Mathews, Bertie, 124, 128 
Maude, Colonel, 210, 222 
Merivale, Under-Secretary, 89, 

91, 112, 172 
Metaxa, Count Jean-Baptiste, 


Middleton, George, 148 
Millais, Sir J. G., xl, 34, 136 
Montalembert, Comte de, 118, 


Montefiore, Sir Moses, 104 
Morier, Robert, 64, 74, 116, 

152, 194, 195 
Mortara, Edgar, 165 
Munich, Lear at, 203 
Murray, Lady, 197 
Murray, Miss, 84 

NAPOLEON III., 133, 157, 158, 

Napoleon, Eugene Louis, 

Prince Imperial, 297 
Naylor, Mrs., 225, 227 
Nevile, Rev. C., 251 
Nevill, W., 114, 152, 221, 226 
Newcastle, fifth Duke of, 172, 

248, 293, 296, 299, 300, 304 


Letters of Edward Lear 

Newcastle, Co. Down, 55 
Newton, Sir Charles, 153, 163, 

166, 168 

Nightingale, , of Emley, 138 
Normanby, Lady, 193 
Northbrook, first Earl of (T. 

Baring), xxxiii, 5, 6, 9, 14, 50 

O'BRIEN, Smith, 278 
O'Donoghue, the, 182, 218 
Omnium, J., 245 
Ormonde, Lady, 43, 44 

PAKINGTON, Rt. Hon. Sir J., 91 

Palgrave, F. T., his " Golden 
Treasury," 192 ; goes to live 
with Woolner, 199 ; his Art 
Handbook, 245 

Palmer, William, of Magdalen, 

Palmerston, Viscount, 88 ff., 
130, 139, 161, 166, 192, 241 

Paris in 1858, 123 

Paris, Comte de, 178, 181, 223 

Parnassus, Lear's painting of ,27 

Parry, Gambier, 59 

Patragik, n 

Pattle, Virginia, 30 

Peel, Major John, 209 

Peel, Sir Robert, 188 

Penrhyn, see Leycester, Ed- 

Pentini, Cardinal, 195 

Percy, Lady Susan, 5, 7 

Perkins, Mrs. Mary Ridge, 128 

Perugia, sack of, in 1859, J ^4 

Petra, 100, 101 

Petraja, Villa, Lear's painting 
of, 185, 186, 189, 196, 199, 

2OO, 211, 2l6 

Philae, Lear's painting of, 35 

Phillimore, Mrs. R. J., 191 

Philpotts, Bishop, 104 

Pius IX., Pope, 5 

Platosa, 10 

Platides, Sir Plato and Lady, 258 

Plato, 75 

Plumer, Mr. and Mrs., 201 

Plutarch, 75 
Pollington, Lord, 164 
Potter, Sir John, 114 
Potter, the Misses, 148 
Preraphaelites, the, Lear's re- 
lation to, xxxix 
Prescott, W. G., 253 
Preta, Cardinal Viale, 165 
Proby, John, Lord, 2, 3, 119,120 
Proby, Lady Isabella, 119 
" Psittacidae, Family of the," 
xvii, xxviii 


Ravensdale, 51, 52 

Redgrave, Richard, 259 

Reggio, revolution at, 4 ; Lear's 
painting of, 26 

Reid, Sir James, 47, 65, 66, 73, 

RenanWie de Jesus," 285, 

Rendlesham, fifth Baron, 164 

Reynolds, Major, 167, 229 

Ricasoli, Count, 188, 191 

Rimbault, Dr., 115 

Robinson, Admiral Sir Spen- 
cer, 255 

Roden, Earl of, see Jocelyn, 

Roebuck, J. A., 191 

Rogers, Sir F. L., 304 

Rome, unrest in, in 1847, 5 ; 
society in, in 1848, 6, in 
1858-9, 123 ff. ; social and 
moral atmosphere in 1860, 
162 ff. ; disturbance at Gari- 
baldi's birthday, 168, 169 

a Rome and its Environs," 

Ross, David, of Bladensburg, 

Ross, Mrs., of Bladensburg, 168 

Ross, Lady Mary, 7 

Ruskin's gratitude to Lear, 
xx vi 

Russell, Lord John, 89, 91, 147, 
161, 169, 296, 308 



Russell, Odo, 127, 131, 169 
Ruxton, Mrs., 7, 45, 53 ff., 61, 
126, 190, 263 

ST. ALBANS, tenth Duke of, 

267, 278 
St. Leonards, letters from, 

San Remo, Lear's studio and 

villas at, xxxi ff . 
Sandwith, Humphrey, 50 
Sargent, Sir Charles, 207, 222, 

237, 258, 272, 274, 275, 286, 


Sartoris, Mrs., 6 
Saunders, Sir Sydney Smith, 

159, 160, 161 
Schimmelpenninck, Mrs., Life 

of, 150 

Scott, Sir Francis, 2, 4, 150 
Seaton, Lord and Lady, 57, 58 
Seddon, Thomas, 48 
Senior, Nassau, 82 
Sermoneta, Duchesse de, 124, 

Seymour, Alfred, 38, 40, 48, 


Seymour, Lord, 275, 278 
Seymour, Admiral Sir Michael, 

Shaftesbury, seventh Earl of, 

Shakespear, Major and Mrs., 

47, 78, 79 
Shelley, Sir Percy, Lady, and 

Florence, 278, 280 
Simeon, Cornwall, xxvii ff., 20 
Simeon, Sir John, 33, 35 
Smith, Major Webber, 246 
Somers, Earl and Countess, 30, 

Spencer, fourth Earl, 82, 83 

Spooner, , 193 

Stanley, A. P., Dean of West- 
minster, 116, 125, 199, 200, 
224, 228, 230 

Stanley, Lord, 89, 91, in, 117, 
119, 120, 135 

Stanley of Alderley, second 

Baron, 51 
Stanley, Mary, 116 
Stanley, Mrs., 232 
Stisted, Mrs., 291 
Stocker, Captain, 279 
Storks, Sir Henry, 125, 131, 

152, 210, 211, 224, 251, 258, 

266, 267, 273, 274, 277 ff., 

283, 286, 288, 292, 298 ff., 

302 ff., 307 

Strahan, Aide-de-Camp, 302 
Strangford, seventh Viscount, 

Stratford de Redcliffe, Lord, 

n, 71, 125, 127, 131 
Street, C. H., 222 
Strong, Archibald, 59 
Stuart de Rothesay, Lady, 211 
Swanston, Professor, xviii 
Swinburne, A. C., 198 
Syracuse, 3 ; Lear's painting of, 

27, 59 

TAIT, Archbishop, 120 

Talbot, Colonel, 71, 82, 266 

Taunton, Lord, 50, 62, 83, 91 

Taylor, Tom, 250 

Tempe, Lear's water-colour of, 

" Tempest, The," Greek trans- 
lation Of, 112 

Tennyson, Lady, 138, 197, 226 

Tennyson, Lord, Poet Laureate, 
xv, xxi, 15, 22, 34, 39, 43, 44, 
113 ff., 137, 138,145, 166,213, 
228, 229, 235; a visit to 
Farringford described, 138 

Thebes, 10, n 

Therapia, the Embassy at, 12 

Thermopylae, Lear's painting 
of, 9, 10, 26, 27, 254, 255 

Thirlwall, Bishop, 189, 276 

Tisdall, Mrs., 219 

Trieste, letter from, 200 ff . 

Troy, Lear at, 38, 39, 42 

Tullamore Park, 56 

Tyrwhitt, R. St. John, 163 


Letters of Edward Lear 

URQUHART, D., 138, 140 
Urquhart, Mrs., 87, 140 

VALSAMACHI, Lady, 71,209, 240, 

244, 258 

Venosa, Lear's painting of, 26 
Vere, Aubrey de, third son of 

Sir Aubrey de Vere, 128, 209 
Vere, Mrs. F. H. Aubrey de, 

Vere, Major F. H. de, 228, 257 

Vergine, Monte, 3 
Vernon, Captain, 220 
Vernon, Lady Selina, 221 
Victor Emmanuel I., 169, 185, 

196, 208 

Victoria,Queen, Lear's drawing- 
lessons to, xx, xxi, xxix 
" Views in the Ionian Islands," 


Villafranca, Treaty of, 147, 157; 

story of the echo, 167 
Vitalis, Mrs., 79 
Volture, Monte, 3 

WALDEGRAVE, Frances Coun- 
tess, 35, 50, 70, 83, 85 ff., 90, 
114, 126, 136, 164, 165, 184, 
191, 211, 213 ff., 223, 231,232, 
294, 300, 301 ; letters from 
Lear to, 51 ff., 97 ff ., 132, 133, 
172, 173, 254, 255, 260 ff., 
275-9 5 Lear's letter on the 
death of Mr.Harcourt, 215 ff., 
227 ; her engagement to 
Chichester Fortescue, 247, 
254, 255 ; her marriage to 
him, 265, 267 

Waldegrave, The Hon. George, 

Waldegrave, Sarah Countess 
(widow of the eighth Earl), 

Wales, Prince of (King Ed- 
ward VII.), 131, 134, 224, 
228, 280 

Walrond, 116 

Walton - on - Thames, Lear's 

letters from, 174 ff., iSoff. 
Ward, Lord, 8 
Ward, Wilfrid, xxi 
Waterford, Marchioness of , 21 1 
Wentworth, Mrs., xvii, xxviii 
Westbury, first Baron, see 

Bethell, Sir Richard 
Wilberforce, Samuel, Bishop 

of Oxford, 213 
"Will," Tennyson's, translated 

by Lear into Greek, 236, 237 
Williams, Dr. Rowland, 2 14, 225 
Wilson, Edward, 287, 293 
Wilton, second Earl of, xix 
Wilton, Countess of, 136 
Wimppfen, Mme., 202, 203 
Winwick, 15 
Wiseman, Cardinal, 164, 251, 


Wodehouse, Lord, 300 
Wolff, Sir Henry Drummond, 

131, 206, 207, 222, 231, 238, 

251, 258, 266, 272 ff., 279 
Wolff, Lady, 272 
Wolff, Rev. Joseph, 240 
Wood, Sir Richard, 160 
Woodward, Rev. , Chaplain 

at Rome, 129 

Woolner, Thomas, 199, 245 
Wyatt, Sir Digby, 198 
Wyatt, T., 202 
Wyndham, , 79 
Wynne, Colonel and Mrs., 241 
Wythenshawe, 15 


Xidian, 251, 257, 285, 286, 288 

YOUNG, Sir John, 8, 35, 37, 39, 
48, 65, 76, 125, 131, 211 

Young, Lady, 65, 69, 70, 77, 82, 
83, 88, 211 

Young, Major, 269 

ZAMBELLi,Sir Themistoclesand 
Lady, 258 



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